Field of Science

Antibiotic resistance - First E. coli now Gonorrhoea

It was E. coli a few weeks ago, now it's Gonorrhoea.. will it ever end? No is the most probable answer. Unfortunatly over recent years an increase in antibiotic resistant microorganisms (or SUPER bugs) have become a common feature in the news.
Why is this? Well due to my recent post about 'World Health day' and 'Super bugs' we could go straight away and start blaming antibiotics. Misuse of them could be to blame but also there are hardly any new antibiotics being developed at the moment - and this is a problem as.. worse case scenario.. these bugs could develop resistance to almost all of our current antibiotics.
What does this mean? Well.. we'll probably have to start living in a giant bubble as it means these diseases we've treated with antibiotics (pneumonia, TB, meningitis) would end up in higher mortality rates (not good).

So what can be done? Well hand washing, disinfection and using antibiotics correctly is something everyone can do... but scientists? Research into this area of new antibiotics or other ways is needed urgently! However to do this scientists need funding, and that relies on the governement hopefully recognising that antibiotic resistance is a real problem and could be a global health risk.

-When I say 'other ways' well.. bacteriophage therapy is a new way of treatment. Bacteriophage's are basically tiny viruses that infect bacteria, but are HARMLESS to humans. This is a new area of investigation and so.. watch this space as bacteriophage's could be a new way of tackling this problem

For more info check out June 2009's Microbiologist for information on 'bacteriophage therapy' via the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)

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