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 Antibiotic resistance poses 'catastrophic threat' to mankind over next 20 years: Breaking report

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PostSubject: Antibiotic resistance poses 'catastrophic threat' to mankind over next 20 years: Breaking report    Thu 04 Apr 2013, 18:06

Antibiotic resistance poses 'catastrophic threat' to mankind over next 20 years: Breaking report

(NaturalNews) The growing resistance to the world's supply of
antibiotics is becoming a "catastrophic threat" that will manifest
itself over the next 20 years, according to a new report from the
British government.

Dame Sally Davies, Britain's Chief Medical
Officer, called for global action in her first annual report to combat
spreading antimicrobial resistance, which she said could cause tens of
millions of patients to die following even minor surgery within two

Davies said the problem is growing so large and serious
that the British government should rank it alongside terrorism and
climate change as one of the country's biggest threats.

Setting medical treatment back 200 years

years antibiotics have grown increasingly ineffective against key
bacteriological strains, a phenomenon that is worsening due to a
"discover void" of new, stronger antibiotics, she said. In her report,
Davies called for a host of actions to address the threat, which may
eventually include tighter restrictions on how doctors prescribe
antibiotics for their patients, The Independent reported.

is a growing problem, and if we don't get it right, we will find
ourselves in a health system not dissimilar from the early 19th
century," she said.

Davies herself acknowledged that the problem
has been a long time in the making, but she said she decided to give it
new focus because of the dire implications of inaction.

"I knew
about antimicrobial resistance as a doctor, but I hadn't realized how
bad it was or how fast it is growing," said Davies.

In her report she says:

There is a need for politicians in the UK to prioritise antimicrobial resistance
as a major area of concern, including on the national risk register and
pushing for action internationally as well as in local healthcare

Antimicrobial resistance is a ticking time-bomb not
only for the UK but also for the world. We need to work with everyone to
ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antimicrobial resistance
does not become a reality. This threat is arguably as important as
climate change.

Thousands already dying each year

Ridge, the British chief pharmaceutical officer, said though the
control mechanism for doling out prescriptions of antibiotics has been
strengthened in hospitals, there needs to be tighter, more thoughtful
control of antibiotic prescriptions by general practitioners.

Britain, hospital infections caused by MRSA and C. diff have been
reduced by some 80 percent over the past 10 years, but those have been
replaced by other tough-to-kill bacteria, such as E. coli and
klebsiella, the latter two now the most frequent causes of
hospital-borne infections, The Independent reported.

In the U.S., carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, has become more common in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Brad Spellberg, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, compared the worsening problem to the fate of the Titanic.

not talking about an iceberg that's down the line. The ship has hit the
iceberg. We're taking on water. We already have people dying. Not only
of CRE, but of untreatable CRE," he told National Public Radio.

the U.K., about 5,000 people a year die from bloodstream infections -
half of them from drug-resistant organisms. In the U.S., the CDC
estimates that about 20,000 die from them.

As antibiotic use has increased, so has resistance

antibiotic use has increased over the past several years, so has
resistance, the experts say. That's because the "pipeline" of new
antibiotic drugs is drying up; there has not been the development of a
new class of antibiotics since 1987, and no new classes are currently in the global pipeline, The Independent
reported. A small number of individual drugs are being developed by a
few British companies, the paper said, but that's about it.

blames part of that development shortage on Big Pharma - there is
little profit in antibiotics because they are expensive to develop but
are only taken in short courses, unlike, say, blood pressure medications
that must be taken for long periods of time.

"We may have to
work with the pharmaceutical companies in public-private partnerships,
and we may have to do some development of antibiotics on a public basis"
in order to fill the "development void," she said.

pointed to the Innovative Medicines Initiative, which is a joint
undertaking between the EU and the pharmaceutical industry which fosters
a collective effort towards pharmaceutical innovation, especially when
it comes to new classes of antibiotics.

"We are going to have to
up our education, so that the doctors and nurses and vets who prescribe
antibiotics do it knowing the risks and advantages, and think about that
balance, and also spend time with patients explaining why they're not
prescribing them," Davies said.

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