The Little-Known Dangers of Antibiotics… Is Antibiotic Overuse Driving Them to Extinction?

The era of antibiotics, where deadly bacterial infections are knocked out completely in a matter of days, may be coming to an end soon, according to more than a handful of media headlines referring to a new paper in the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal. However, all hope is not lost.

Walsh told The Guardian:The paper, by Professor Tim Walsh and colleagues, refers to a type of gene called NDM 1, which easily transfers between enterobacteriaceae bacteria (which includes E. coli and other types), making such bacteria resistant to antibiotics. NDM 1 is already widespread in other areas of the world, such as India, but it’s now showing up in the United States as well.

“In many ways, this is it … This is potentially the end. There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.”

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