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Posts Tagged "antibiotic resistance"

Guest Blog

Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick

A few weeks ago as I was walking out of a Harris Teeter grocery store in Raleigh, North Carolina, I saw a man face a moment of crisis. You could see it in the acrobatic contortions of his face. He had pulled a cart out of the area where carts congregate, only to find that [...]

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Guest Blog

World Health Day: Combat Drug Resistance

Without effective antibiotics, much of modern medicine would not be possible. The treatment of cancer, the care of premature babies and even the most common surgical procedures would not be possible. Yet as each day passes, we move closer to a post-antibiotic era. The severity of the problem, which has rendered many of the strongest [...]

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Guest Blog

Short Story Science: Lenina versus the Pneumococcus

Today is January 28, and Lenina has a smashing headache; she is a Streptococcus pneumoniae researcher. Not that this was the main reason for the headache, but an important meeting was being held today to launch the Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network’s [PMEN] new paper in Science. Oddly enough, her role at the meeting is to [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Why Ebola Is a Wake Up for Infection Control

Antibiotic_thumbnail

Just as the CDC’s and other experts’ thoughts on Ebola and infection control have evolved with experience, mine have taken a slight twist as well. Given the missteps at Dallas’s Texas Presbyterian Hospital, which could have occurred in any community, I now agree with the current recommendations to centralize care in specialty centers. My perspective [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola and Priorities in Drug Development

Ebola in Guinea (flickr Euro Comm DG ECHO)

News is rapidly changing regarding Ebola. Even as I’ve been writing this post, we’ve gone from “There is no treatment except supportive care” to NIH’s Dr. Fauci saying a potential vaccine “could be given to health workers in affected African countries sometime in 2015.”⁠ This optimistic projection was a surprise to me, as normally it [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Will Antibiotics Be There When You Need Them? Get Smart

CDC: Antibiotic Resistance Threat

Just in time for “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week,” I had a refreshing experience recently, working in a different rural hospital. Over that week, I didn’t see one patient with “superbugs” other than the occasional MRSA. No one had the now scarier Gram negative bugs known as ESBLs (extended spectrum beta lactamases) or the even [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Antibiotic resistance-another view from the trenches

Remember the story of the elephant and the blind men? I feel I am revisiting it whenever I go back and work another stretch in the hospital as an infectious diseases physician. There are great articles giving a broad overview of the rise in antibiotic resistant organisms, especially Carbapenem resistant enterobacter, written by Maryn McKenna, [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

CDC’s “Resistance Nightmare:” A View from the Trenches

Klebsiella_pneumoniae_01

Great posts have been written about the “end of antibiotics” and superbugs in a variety of flavors. Yesterday, the CDC⁠ issued an alarming warning about Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, aka CRE. The enzyme that  produces the antibiotic resistance, was first identified in 2001 from an isolate of  Klebsiella. According to the new CDC report, in a 2012 [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

The NIH Superbug Story—a Missing Piece

Considerable attention has been given to this week’s news about hospital (healthcare) acquired infections (HAI) at NIH with a “superbug.” * There has been probably misplaced criticism of NIH for not making its finding of transmission of a bacteria between patients public, as well as wonder at the high-tech tools that enabled NIH to track [...]

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Observations

End of the Antibiotic Age: You’ve Been Warned

pills spilling out of a bottle

Widespread antibiotic resistance is no longer a potential problem but has become a major threat, according to the World Health Organization. This news comes as no surprise to the Scientific American community, thanks to Maryn McKenna‘s prescient feature article “The Enemy Within,” which ran three years ago in the April 2011 issue. Naturally, you’ll think [...]

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Observations

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Sharks and Seals

Bacteria, viruses and parasites from land animals such as cats, cows and humans are sickening and killing sea mammals. Scientists have been finding a daunting number of land-based pathogens in seals, dolphins, sharks and other ocean dwellers that wash ashore dead or dying, according to an article by Christopher Solomon in the May 2013 issue [...]

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Observations

Coughs Fool Patients into Unnecessary Requests for Antibiotics

cough illness duration expectation prescription antibiotic

No one wants a hacking cough for days or weeks on end. But research shows that it generally takes about 18 days to get over a standard cough-based illness. Most of us grow impatient after a week or so and head to the doctor to get a prescription. The problem with that recourse, however, is [...]

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Observations

Common STD Grows Resistant to Treatment in North America

antibiotic resistance gonorrhea std

The most commonly acquired sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S., chlamydia and gonorrhea, are usually cleared out swiftly and easily with a dose of oral antibiotics. But one of these infections is growing bold and finding ways to evade treatment. More than 321,000 cases of gonorrhea are reported each year in the U.S. alone—and [...]

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Observations

Growth Factor: How Bacterial Infections Persist through Antibiotics [Video]

bacteria persists with antibiotics by growing

Some strains of nasty bacterial infections, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), come loaded with resistance to antibiotics built right into their genes. But certain infections seem to acquire an ability to persist in the face of drugs that should knock them out—without developing the genetic hallmarks of antibiotic resistance. For decades, researchers have thought [...]

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Observations

Common Antibiotic Not Helpful for Cough and Respiratory Infection

antibiotic not effective cough respiratory infection

When I was growing up in the 1980s and ’90s with two younger brothers, the antibiotic amoxicillin was a frequent guest in our house. Strep throat, sinus infections, sore throats, coughs; we all remember that thick, pink, bubble gum-flavored liquid perhaps a little too well. But this popular drug, like many antibiotics, is overprescribed—often given [...]

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Observations

Soil May Help Pathogens Make Us Sick

soil

Tetracycline—a powerful antibiotic—came from the soil. Researchers isolated the drug, used to treat everything from sexually transmitted diseases to bacterial pneumonia, from the soil-dwelling microbe Septomyces aureofaciens, which produces tetracycline to kill its microbe neighbors. So it comes as no surprise that other soil microbes have evolved ways to resist this antibiotic But a new [...]

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Observations

Cave Bacteria Finding Suggests Ancient Origins of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

Lechuquilla cave

Our pill-popping culture and over-zealous livestock farmers typically take the blame for the widespread resistance of many harmful strains of bacteria to entire classes of antibiotics. And the Food and Drug Administration took a bold move today with a new voluntary plan to help curtail the over-use of antibiotics in agriculture. But the capacity to [...]

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Observations

Staph Turns into Drug-Resistant Superbug on Farms

pig farm mrsa

Scary antibiotic-resistant infections aren’t just lurking in the hospital anymore. They’re in gyms, at the beach, and increasingly, on the farm. One strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) known as CC398 has been rapidly spreading through poultry and pig farms, infecting people who work with the animals around the world (up to 26.5 percent of [...]

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Observations

Gonorrhea Could Join Growing List of Untreatable Diseases

The arms race between humanity and disease-causing bacteria is drawing to a close—and the bacteria are winning. The latest evidence: gonorrhea is becoming resistant to all standard antibiotic treatment. Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world—with about 600,000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. A few years ago, [...]

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