‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’ Now: Doctors in Panic Mode Over Rise of Drug Resistance

‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’ Now: Doctors in Panic Mode Over Rise of Drug Resistance:

Scientists say they are alarmed by the rise of drug-resistant genes in humans that could soon return us to the days when simple injuries or straightforward infections posed a real threat to life.

Biomedical scientists at a recent meeting of the American Society for Microbiology revealed that bacteria containing an mcr-1 gene which confers resistance to colistin — the “antibiotic of last resort” — has become disturbingly widespread over the 1.5 years since its discovery.

In many parts of the world doctors have turned to colistin because patients were no longer responding to any other antimicrobial agent. Now, with more people carrying mcr-1, resistance to its use is spreading across the globe.

England’s chief medical officer Sally Davies described the process as a fast-approaching “antibiotic apocalypse,” and declared that if humans fail to develop new types of antibiotics or find an alternative solution, our next generations could be deprived of the ability to perform even routine medical operations. For instance, a patient could die from peritonitis if antibiotics have no effect during appendix-removal surgery.

H/t reader squodgy:

“An acquaintance who recently had an op to remove his inflamed gall bladder acquired an infection in the scar & was sent home with no antibiotic.
He healed quite well outside the hospital environment.”

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