[–] Jesus_Valdez 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'm having trouble loading the page, is it behind a paywall or something like that?


[–] milkshake 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I can see antibiotic resistance spawning some incredibly nasty bacteria in the years to come. For example, you already have the likes of MRSA and VRE running around and increasing post-operation mortem risks by ridiculous factors, increasing healthcare costs by an average of seven thousand dollars for each patient.

A study conducted by Engemann et al. found that the presence of MRSA in a surgical wound increased the adjusted 90-day postoperative mortality risk by 3.4 fold, compared with the presence of methicillin-susceptible bacteria (MSSA) (P=.003), and by 11.4 fold compared with the absence of infection (P< .001) (1). In essence, the presence of MRSA in a surgical wound increases the fatality rate by 1040 percent compared to an absence of any such bacteria in the wound.

A similar study conducted by the John Hopkins Medical Institution’s Division of Infectious Diseases indicates that the 346 patients admitted to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with clinically significant S. aureus bacteremia experienced an increase in median length of hospital stay after acquisition of infection (9 vs 7 with MSSA bacteremia; P= .045) and hospital charges ($26,424 vs. $19,212; P= .008) (2)

Let's also keep in mind that these things can spread fast. Within years of its introduction, penicillin was found to be ineffective against certain bacteria; the same process for methicillin. Multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis is also on the rise, with 290,000 cases in 2010 and 450,000 cases in 2012 (note that these are only reported cases!) (number).

There are a variety of reasons for this particular issue: 1. Improper application of antibiotics in humans (i.e. antibiotics are diagnosed for respiratory viral diseases). Doctors should learn to give what's necessary and tell the patient to screw off when they ask for something 'just to make the visit worth it' (3).

  1. Patients not taking their full dose of prescribed antibiotics - even if you feel better, you need to completely obliterate any vestige of bacteria in your system and not allow them to proliferate

  2. People disposing of antibiotics incorrectly. Medical databases online have information on proper disposal, and there are also medicine take-back programs floating about.

  3. Livestock being given an excess of antibiotics. These creatures are pumped full of antibiotics, and their residual matter frequently contains traces of either antibiotic-resistant bacteria or the antibiotics themselves.

  4. Proliferation of antibiotic resistance in nosocomial settings. Hospitals and things are breeding grounds for these new superbugs as they have a large amount of biowaste, interesting pathogens, and infected individuals in close proximity. Better sanitation in general for these places (4).

  5. Research into creating new classes of antibiotics is very languid. Companies such as Pfizer have scaled back their efforts in order to acquire more money. Medicine for chronic diseases are overemphasized, as they are used for a patient's lifetime with antibiotics are one-use (5).

It's a scary problem that could theoretically render an entire line of defense against disease useless, but we can certainly take steps to stop it. Do your part, guys!


Quotes are from an essay I wrote.

1) John J. Engemann, et al., Adverse clinical and economic outcomes attributable to methicillin resistance among patients with Staphylococcus aureus surgical site infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 36 (5), 592-598 (2003).

2) Sara E. Cosgrove, The relationship between antimicrobial resistance and patient outcomes: mortality, length of hospital stay, and health care costs. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 42 (2), S82-S89 (2005).

3) S. Bownlee, Why Doctors Uselessly Prescribe Antibiotics for a Common Cold. (2012) Available at http://ideas.time.com/2012/04/16/why-doctors-uselessly-prescribe-antibiotics-for-a-common-cold/ (27 September, 2014).

4) H. Stubblefield, Hospital-Acquired (Nosocomial) Infections (2014). Available at http://www.healthline.com/health/hospital-acquired-nosocomial-infections#Treatments7 (27 September 2014).

5) J. Gever, Pfizer Moves May Dim Prospect for New Antibiotics (2011). Available at http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/24708 (21 September 2014).