Friday, August 13, 2010

Gene Makes Superbugs Resistant to Drugs

So reads the headline on a Wall St Journal Story. It quotes "Lancet Infectious Diseases" who says that a new gene dubbed NDM-1 gives bacteria the ability to produce a chemical that protects them against most antibiotics. The new strain of bacteria was found in 180 cases in India and Pakistan, and in a few British citizens who had had surgery in India. Three cases have appeared in the US, all from people who had medical treatment in India.
So another superbug joins Methicillin Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus (MRSA). Medical authorities blame excessive use of antibiotics for the rise of antibiotic resistant germs. So long as we feed antibiotics to farm animals to make them grow faster, we are going to have resistant bacteria cropping up.
Since antibiotics cure patients, the drug companies are not interested in creating new ones. After a few doses, the patient recovers. Drug companies like expensive drugs that don't actually cure anything so the patient keeps buying more of them.

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