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Thread: resistant to antibiotics

  1. #1 resistant to antibiotics 
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    I heard numerous times on the news the past couple of days that it is a huge risk when all infections become resistant to antibiotics. This is obviously a major issue that needs to be addressed.

    *Are there already people working on finding a new antibiotic?

    *What would the implications be if no new antibiotics where produced?

    *How long on average does it take to produce such a drug?

    *Is there a way to still combat the strains of infection with the current antibiotics?

    *How long before all bacterium become completely resistant to all antibiotics..........is it months, years, decades???

    Thanks


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  3. #2  
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    The concerns isn't that all infections that will become resistant to antibiotics but that previously treatable viruses are mutating into untreatable strains and could spread pandemically.

    SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) history: Mysterious Virus Spreads to UK-Mutated SARS from Middle East | HEAVY


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    The concerns isn't that all infections that will become resistant to antibiotics but that previously treatable viruses are mutating into untreatable strains and could spread pandemically.
    But that's always been true of viruses. That's why the flu vaccine has to be changed every year.

    One of the biggest dangers with bacteria is with TB. Unless new drugs or other treatments come onto the market, we'll soon finish up right back where we started a century ago - with no effective treatments at all.

    The best thing we can do in the meantime is public education campaigns to reduce the overuse and inappropriate use of the antibiotics we have now.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The concerns isn't that all infections that will become resistant to antibiotics but that previously treatable viruses are mutating into untreatable strains and could spread pandemically.
    But that's always been true of viruses. That's why the flu vaccine has to be changed every year.

    One of the biggest dangers with bacteria is with TB. Unless new drugs or other treatments come onto the market, we'll soon finish up right back where we started a century ago - with no effective treatments at all.

    The best thing we can do in the meantime is public education campaigns to reduce the overuse and inappropriate use of the antibiotics we have now.
    Interesting, I thought the flu vaccine was changed to match the predicted strain that already existed
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleaseletmebeanon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    But that's always been true of viruses. That's why the flu vaccine has to be changed every year.
    Interesting, I thought the flu vaccine was changed to match the predicted strain that already existed
    What is the difference between what the two of you said?
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  7. #6  
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    2,400 years of experience vs. 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleaseletmebeanon View Post
    2,400 years of experience vs. 10
    This made no sense whatsoever and did not answer the question.
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    Interesting, I thought the flu vaccine was changed to match the predicted strain that already existed
    There are always several more strains of flu circulating than can be included in time for vaccines which have to be manufactured in time for the beginning of flu season. They choose the most recently mutated - because people cannot have any natural immunity to anything like that - as well as making some selective judgements about which are the most dangerous ones. They get included as a matter of course. Not just because they're dangerous, but because they want to cut down its capacity to mutate. A mutation in something that's already highly dangerous into something that is also easily transmissible between people is a public health nightmare. The fewer the people who contract it, the less chance it has to mutate.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    The flue Vaccine mix changes yearly and it varies by hemisphere:
    HPA - Influenza Vaccine Composition

    Unfortunately, they often miss the mark or it works for a percentage of the population and I believe 2012-2013 shortchanged the elderly: ScienceDirect.com - The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Mortality benefits of influenza vaccination in elderly people: an ongoing controversy (weird but copy and paste or it goes to a general link)

    SARS has no vaccine, nor cure and it is treated as a pneumonia. This article give you a history:
    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) - NY Times Health Information
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    I saw this BBC news article recently: Phages may be key in bacteria battle.

    Phages are naturally occurring viruses that kill bacteria. Once they get into bacterial cells the phages' DNA replicates until it kills the host.
    They might look like sinister aliens, but these bacteria-munching viruses could be the next weapon in the fight against infectious diseases.
    Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjs101 View Post
    I heard numerous times on the news the past couple of days that it is a huge risk when all infections become resistant to antibiotics. This is obviously a major issue that needs to be addressed.

    Are there already people working on finding a new antibiotic?
    Yes, lots of people around the world are working on it, but this is harder than most of your average drugs.

    Quote Originally Posted by hjs101 View Post
    *What would the implications be if no new antibiotics where produced?
    We would have to be ultra hygenic all the time, as we'd have no effective
    treatment against infection.

    Quote Originally Posted by hjs101 View Post
    *How long on average does it take to produce such a drug?
    This is difficult to answer as is dependent on so many factors but according to
    some sources can take around 12 years and cost into the billions of dollars,
    This link will give you some more information,
    The Truly Staggering Cost Of Inventing New Drugs - Forbes

    Quote Originally Posted by hjs101 View Post
    *Is there a way to still combat the strains of infection with the current antibiotics?
    Yes at present we can and are still using current antibiotics to combat infection, this being said there are
    new 'super' strains being discovered all the time that are becoming resistant even to our most powerful
    anitbiotics.

    Quote Originally Posted by hjs101 View Post
    *How long before all bacterium become completely resistant to all antibiotics..........is it months, years, decades???
    This is impossible to know for sure, but if current trends keep up then it could be only 2 or 3 decades before totally
    resistant bacteria are common place.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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  13. #12  
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    Actually being ultra hygienic has been seen as a problem, because it prevents people's immune systems from developing properly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    Actually being ultra hygienic has been seen as a problem, because it prevents people's immune systems from developing properly.
    Yeah agreed in general, but I was meaning like when someone is injured or in hospital and would normally have been given antibiotics as a precautionary measure against infection, this is the time at which people are at most risk and would really need to be in an extremely hygenic enviroment if there is no effective antibiotics anymore.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjs101 View Post
    *Are there already people working on finding a new antibiotic?
    There is always somebody working on something like this.
    Pharmaceutical industry is most interested in developing drugs that you have to take continuously. They get most revenue from this. Developing drugs like antibiotics that a person takes only for a few weeks, is of little pragmatic interest to them. Usually this is up to government funded research labs to do this kind of research (so it's done on public's tax moneys).

    *What would the implications be if no new antibiotics where produced?
    natural selection would take its toll again
    anyone with weakened immune system would be more likely to die from infections

    *How long on average does it take to produce such a drug?
    new drug discovery takes anywhere from 3 years (at the quickest) up to a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars
    you're also dependent on such things as luck in research

    *Is there a way to still combat the strains of infection with the current antibiotics?
    sometimes current antibiotics get modified chemically and become more effective against bacteria

    *How long before all bacterium become completely resistant to all antibiotics..........is it months, years, decades???
    that's very unlike to happen
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    You won't make revenue so easily if people dislike your product and business practices, either. Independent researchers would not be so quick to stay quiet, as well.

    A drug manufacturer is not interested in whether you must continuously take a drug as much as they are interested in the drug being effective.

    Why?
    Because people will stop taking ineffective drugs, anyway. But if the company spends millions on research and development and the drug is rendered ineffective quickly, they cannot recover those costs. Having a drug that remains effective over a long period of time means recover the costs and the rest is profit. Profit means more funding for more research, as well.
    Effective does not mean continuous. You might take an effective drug for a week or two. But the market will remain there- there will be a need for the drug.

    These are the same companies that have developed vaccines that work.

    It's a peeve of mine that everyone assumes right away, whether it is reasonable or not, that the drug companies are automatically out to screw people over.
    It requires ignoring massive volumes of research and medications that have saved lives, spared misery and suffering, cured illnesses, made viable and effective treatments and prolonged quality living. All of it, decades worth, must be ignored for want of a conspiracy claim.

    It really gets tiresome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post

    It's a peeve of mine that everyone assumes right away, whether it is reasonable or not, that the drug companies are automatically out to screw people over.
    Nevertheless, the primary reason the world is running out of effective antibiotics is that selling antibiotics is insufficiently profitable, and the drug companies spend little or no research money on new antibacterial drugs.

    There are a number of possible avenues for new and very effective antibacterial drugs. Some work has been done to develop these, but the investment money is lacking.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Because people will stop taking ineffective drugs, anyway.
    This assumes that

    1. The people who take medication always understand what drugs they are taking, what the drugs are supposed to do and are completely immune to placebo effect. This is not true.

    As a matter of fact, I recently did some reasearch on a new antidote to anticoagulants (to be used in case someone on blood thinners has an injury or is at risk for heavy bleeding, e.g. from surgery) for an article I wrote. A doctor was quoted as saying that it's important to have an antidote that works with as many blood thinners as possible, because people on blood thinners who show up in emergency rooms often don't know which blood thinner they are taking.

    I have asthma, and inhalers here in the UK are color-coded so people know which ones to use when. People with asthma aren't expected to know the names of the medications they are inhaling, just when to use the blue one and when to use the brown one.

    2. The people with the medical conditions are the ones who control which drugs people get to take, not insurance companies or government bureaucracies (depending on how the healthcare system works in your country).

    3. When people decide to take drugs, it is not because they have been influenced by advertising.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post

    It's a peeve of mine that everyone assumes right away, whether it is reasonable or not, that the drug companies are automatically out to screw people over.
    Not automatically, but whenever there is an opportunity to make an enormous profit, there is more of an incentive for dishonesty.

    Ben Goldacre: What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe | Video on TED.com
    Last edited by Alec Bing; March 25th, 2013 at 05:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    This assumes that
    Maybe my post did not properly reflect my thoughts. This topic is anti-biotics. In which case, whether they are effective or not is not a mystery.
    Now, another peeve of mine is people not taking all the anti-biotics they are prescribed. They start feeling better... and stop taking what's in the bottle.
    But what I said should not be carried over to other medications, like psychiatric ones. Nor do I believe that patients know what they are taking or are fully informed on the topic...
    Interesting video- good to share.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Nevertheless, the primary reason the world is running out of effective antibiotics is that selling antibiotics is insufficiently profitable, and the drug companies spend little or no research money on new antibacterial drugs.
    Another reason I might have listed first was the over prescription and over/under use of anti-biotics.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    There are a number of possible avenues for new and very effective antibacterial drugs. Some work has been done to develop these, but the investment money is lacking.
    Any examples?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Any examples?
    There was a recent article in New Scientist which described several approaches. But I am going to go right away from that and refer to some research that is being done by my neighbors across the Tasman Sea - Australia - since this example is more colorful.

    Crocodiles live in sh!t infested, and heavily polluted water. They fight each other, tearing massive gaping wounds. Those wounds heal clean, in spite of the massive bacterial load contacting the open gashes. Researchers have found a major reason is the presence in the crocodile blood of a polypeptide that kills almost almost all bacteria really quickly. They are working on isolating, and synthesizing this polypeptide, and then working out a suitable delivery system into the human body.

    As always, they are strapped for cash!
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    Funny, I was reading about polypeptides earlier after S.G. asked me a question. These dealt with the ones in Teflon, though...

    Hmmm... A Teflon Immune System...
    heh...

    Researchers also are interested in the Opossum. In fact, they are born with no immune system at all...
    Characterization of the opossum immune genome provides insights into the evolution of the mammalian immune system
    Opossum's genetic map sheds light on humans - The Globe and Mail

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...tor-blood.html

    Warning: This link wants to save .pdf file to your pc-- http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...44158598,d.b2I

    pubmed article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21184776
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    another peeve of mine is people not taking all the anti-biotics they are prescribed.
    It's not just uninformed patients, it's careless professionals in hospitals. There's a particularly virulent infection in a couple of Australian hospitals - resistant to the last-resort antibiotics. Turns out some staff in Intensive Care were not using the set procedures but were disposing of the last little bits of antibiotic solutions into the handwashing basins installed near ICU beds.

    So an inadequate solution was being left in the top of a drain exposed to the air and any infectious materials in the ward - ideal conditions for various bacteria to test their strength against something intended to kill them. And the ones strong enough to survive thrived and multiplied. Apparently the only way now to control the infections is to steam sterilise each room and all its contents a couple of times a week.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    another peeve of mine is people not taking all the anti-biotics they are prescribed.
    It's not just uninformed patients, it's careless professionals in hospitals
    Cost could also be an issue. People might take some antibiotics, then when they are starting to feel better, stop taking them and save the rest for later in case they get sick again, so they don't have to pay for new medication. Medicine is a luxury for some people.
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  24. #23  
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    Anti-Antibiotics, now that's somewhat neat to think about.
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