MRSA drug resistance
People are overusing antibiotics, experts agree. The drugs work well when used as directed against bacterial infections. But they don’t kill all the bad bugs, and the ones that survive can multiply and spread their drug-resistant genes. This happens especially when people take the wrong antibiotic, or take them to treat a viral infection, because antibiotics don’t affect viruses.
Perhaps worst of all is when people don’t take a full course of antibiotics — leaving a half-treated population of bacteria in their bodies to thrive and spread.
The WHO report finds that a drug-resistant strain of an intestinal bug called Klebsiella pneumonia has now spread to every region of the world. It withstands the effects of the treatment of last resort, a group of antibiotics called carbapenems.
“In some countries, because of resistance, carbapenem antibiotics would not work in more than half of people treated for K. pneumoniae infections, ” WHO says.
It's been a problem in the United States for decades.
Last fall, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than two million people are infected by drug-resistant germs each year, and 23, 000 die of their infections. The biggest killer by far in the U.S. is diarrhea-causing C. difficile.
Nearly 322, 000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the U.S. in 2011, making it the second most commonly reported notifiable infection in the nation.
Overuse in farm animals is another problem.
"There's been a tendency in the past for people to think that antibiotics are risk-free drugs that people should ask for and take any time they're feeling a little bit ill. That's not correct, " the CDC's Dr. Steve Solomon told NBC news. "So carefully using antibiotics is really the most important thing that we can do."
Maggie Fox is senior health writer for NBCNews.com and TODAY.com, writing top news on health policy, medical treatments and disease.
She's a former managing editor for healthcare and technology at National Journal and global health and science editor for Reuters based in Washington, D.C. and London.
She's reported for news agencies, radio, newspapers, magazines and television from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe covering news ranging from war to politics and, of course, health and science. Her reporting has taken Maggie to Lebanon, Syria and Libya; to China, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan; to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia and to Ireland and Northern Ireland and across the rest of Europe.
You might also like
What would MRSA be before 1928?by Hydrogyrophage
Drug resistant strains are dangerous because we can't treat them well with antibiotics. BUT, if we didn't use antibiotics, we wouldn't be able to treat them anyway, so you could just as well call *all* bacteria pre-penicillin multi-drug-resistant (or even XDR). The fact that it has resistance doesn't make it any more dangerous than a non-resistant bug if we don't use drugs.
Be careful what you eatby eightball79
ANTIBIOTIC-PUMPED PIGS MAY BE SOURCE OF MRSA - (Print)
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a particularly vicious staph infection that plagues hospitals, may have gotten its obstinate resistance to antibiotics from the routine of giving antibiotics to farm animals, according to a new study by researchers at Northern Arizona University. MRSA has become a major epidemic that has become more drug-resistant as it has spread. While most people normally have a bit of Staphylococcus bacteria on their skin, certain MRSA strains are lethal and difficult to treat when they get into the bloodstream
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): Etiology, At-risk Populations and Treatment (Bacteriology Research Developments)
Book (Nova Science Publishers, Inc.)
A single shot of antibiotic 'could be new MRSA treatment' — Medical News Today
Researchers at Duke Medicine in Durham, NC, have found that a new single-dose antibiotic is as effective as the current standard treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which involves a twice-daily infusion being given for up to 10 days.
'D-Zone' clue is key to MRSA clindamycin resistance: lab test for inducible resistance.(Infectious Diseases)(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus ... Article): An article from: Pediatric News
Book (International Medical News Group)
MRSA infections decline, but new bacterial strains threaten: you can take action to protect yourself against drug-resistant bacteria.(INTERNAL MEDICINE): An article from: Duke Medicine Health News
Book (Belvoir Media Group, LLC)
Superbugs and Superdrugs: A History of Mrsa (Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine)
Book (QMUL History C20Medicine)
Animal Models for the Study of Human Disease
eBooks (Academic Press)