What you can do about antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Here’s some of links to articles about the growth of MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Quite a lot of interest in this given the recent paper by Dr. Monina Klevens et al at the CDC which concluded:

“Based on 8,987 observed cases of MRSA and 1,598 in-hospital deaths among patients with MRSA, we estimate that 94,360 invasive MRSA infections occurred in the United States in 2005; these infections were associated with death in 18,650 cases..”

And remember, this was in 2005–today the number is probably much higher.

Not any coverage of one of the most important causes of this phenomena, though. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have arisen so quickly largely because of the widespread use of antibiotics for veterinary uses, chiefly in the giant food factory farms. In these farms, animals are crowded together in disease-promoting conditions, so the only way to keep the animals from getting sick is to constantly feed them antibiotics. The bacteria that these animals are exposed to then become resistant to antibiotics, and through the process of horizontal genetic transfer, the germs that infect humans get the genes that they need to protect them against antibiotics. (See my previous post on this issue)

So, the AMA warned before against the use of the newer generation of antibiotics in animals, and is, along with 12 other health organizations, warning about this again, now that the pharmaceutical industry has asked the government for permission to use the very newest class of antibiotics on animals. These are our last-ditch antibiotics, and if bacteria become resistant to these, the number of fatal infections will increase, warns the AMA.

So the government is going to look out for the interests of its citizens and NOT approve the request by the pharma industry to make these last ditch antibiotics available to the cattle industry, right? Think again:

Continue reading “What you can do about antibiotic-resistant bacteria”

What you can do about antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Stupid question, but at least my cow is well….

Updates of 28 October 2007 are italicized

Well here we have real irresponsibility, and it’s just one of many examples of the USA health infrastructure falling to sub-standard oversight. In typical fashion, this has received almost no press coverage, and caters to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry and the mega-food manufacturers, ignoring the advice of the American Medical Association and 12 other public health groups. This is especially relevant today, with the recent explosion of antibiotic resistant bactaria, such as MRSA, which is a direct result of this process:

Will FDA put humans at risk with cow drug?

The Washington Post

The government is on track to approve a new antibiotic to treat a pneumonialike disease in cattle, despite warnings from health groups and a majority of the agency’s own expert advisers that the decision will be dangerous for people.

Continue reading “Stupid question, but at least my cow is well….”

Stupid question, but at least my cow is well….