how are we fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria and what will we do when our antibiotics will no longer have effect?


how are we fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria and what will we do when our antibiotics will no longer have effect?

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We are fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria with other antibiotics (reserve antibiotics) that are only used against bacteria when other “normal” antibiotics fail.

If we at one point will have antibiotic resistant bacteria that’s also resistant against all these, then we’re fucked and better put a huge amount of money into finding a bunch of new antibiotics as soon as possible, otherwise more and more people will be dying from illnessess that are perfectly treatable today.

In the past, we made new antibiotics that the bacteria couldn’t resist. If you were born in the 1960’s, you probably got penicillin for an infection, but when you were a teen in the 1970’s you probably got amoxicillin, as a young adult in the 1980’s ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin in the 90’s, and so on.

The problem now is that there are fewer antibiotics in development, and they aren’t as effective. If you are hopeful, you say that antibiotics will be replaced with other treatments; if you are a pessimist, you say people are going to start dying again from meningitis.

One of the reasons, and I don’t know how much weight it has, is that a lot of people stop taking antibiotics as soon as their symptoms disappear. In some of those cases, the bacteria remaining will mutate to survive those antibiotics, resulting in more resilient/resistant bacteria. The old whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But for the bacteria, not us.

Those more resilient bacteria grow and give you another infection, then they get passed to other people, and the old antibiotics don’t work for them or you.

Back in the day antibiotics got prescribed for all kinds of things, even if you didn’t really need them (like allergies). Now medical professionals are more cautious and stress that you have to finish your whole course of them, even if you feel better.

My son has been living this nightmare for almost three years.

He has a pseudomonas living in his leg that has lymphedema. The pseudomonas gets angry and my son gets severe sepsis. He has had it 15 times in the space of a year and a half. It is technically antibiotic resistant but each time they try with the strongest antibiotics for the hospital stay then I treat him with IV meds every 8 hours at home for a month.

We work with some of the top infectious disease doctors in the country and after this many episodes we’ve all agreed that there is no next step or answer. You maintain as long as you can but the bug will eventually outsmart the medicine and/or the medicine will become more than the human body can take. In the meantime besides antibiotics the skin treatments are medicated soap and bleach baths every day. I have to be honest. I would rather that the doctors be as honest with me as they are and tell me that they just don’t know rather than make things up to make me feel better.

The antibiotics are available but people also have to take the rest of the routine seriously to stave off the infection. Clean living area, bleach and lots and lots of hard work. Doctors can only do so much.

Hopefully we will continue to find new antibiotics to combat resistance. Otherwise we will revert to dying from infections at a much higher rate, as we used to prior to the invention of antibiotics.