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Modern antibiotics, essential drugs for modern life, are increasingly simply not working.

Why?
Overuse by the humans?
Misuse on the animals?
Adaptation of the bacteria?
Yes.

“Antibiotics are one of the greatest success stories in modern medicine… [and while] we associate them with treating acute infections, these drugs underpin much of health care—from routine surgical procedures to organ transplants and cancer treatment. Unfortunately, the history of antibiotics is a race between innovation and resistance. As innovative science furnishes novel drugs, bacterial evolution can quickly render them ineffective…. Pew addresses the growing public health challenge of multidrug-resistant infections by supporting policies that stimulate and encourage the development of antibiotics to treat life-threatening illnesses. Pew also is working to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by phasing out the overuse and misuse of the drugs in food animal production.”
Cite: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/topics/antibiotics?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpJqfiMXF9QIVxgWICR3DtAsvEAAYAyAAEgJvYvD_BwE

What is the concern?

Antibiotics are increasingly not working for humans and animals. Bacteria are evolving faster than human evolution of new antibiotics. Alternatives to antibiotics are needed. and misuse’ of these wonderful drugs.

Why do we need alternatives?

It’s controversial just like anything involving our public health and our private markets. It relates to mutation and evolution of the bacteria and as the Pew Center notes above, the key to rising antibiotic resistance appears to be our known ‘overuse and misuse’ of these wonderful drugs.

Why do we need alternatives?

It’s controversial just like anything involving our public health and our private markets. It relates to mutation and evolution of the bacteria and as the Pew Center notes above, the key to rising antibiotic resistance appears to be our known ‘overuse and misuse’ of these wonderful drugs.

What happens with Overuse?

When we overuse an antibiotic (meaning we use large quantities of the drugs) we expose more and more bacteria to the antibiotic. This helps train the bacteria to respond and eventually they learn from their training and by evolution we all get more powerful bacteria that become resistant to the antibiotic. Who has heard of MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus)? You used to have to ask that of a soldier in the infantry, an inmate or prisoner, or a wrestler or other exposed to dirty, moist places where the simple staph bacteria we all carry becomes an infection that we used to be able to easily treat with one of our standard antibiotics – methicillin. Today, people are catching MRSA resistant infections anywhere…. not everywhere but no longer confined to the places they once were and the problem is we don’t have many ways left to combat the evolved bacteria that no longer can be stopped with regular antibiotics.

What happens with Abuse?

Abuse is intentional overuse by both humans and livestock producers. Humans abuse antibiotics by asking for and being given antibiotics whenever they have a cold or flu hoping a pill in the mouth will cure them. Animal abuse of antibiotics started about 30 years ago when the livestock industry was using antibiotics to keep chickens alive in dirty moist chicken coops (hey, just like those prison and the conditions in those other places?). This was called ‘prophylactic’ use and same as a condom, it means use of the drug to prevent or ward off infection. It was a rational business decision: Bigger coops, more air and ventilation are very expensive and the market analysis was that if massive amounts of antibiotics could be put in their food the business could keep the animals alive long enough to grow big enough to slaughter and sell. Then the industry discovered something very, very powerful – antibiotics have a wonderful side effect – they make chickens grow much, much faster. Ten years ago this was made public and since then the industry has worked to reduce its consumption of antibiotics for livestock

Is the Industry to Blame?

No. We all contributed to this and overuse of antibiotics on humans and animals is creating antibiotic resistant bacteria and the complex interaction between them has only recently (last ten years) been openly studied.

This website is an effort to fairly raise and promote a really important issue.

We examined the work of Kathy Talkington, Director, Health Programs at the The Pew Charitable Trusts

EXPERIENCE - She created this graphic and what the connection was between using antibiotics to raise farm animals and using antibiotics to care for humans?

Graphics - On the left is how livestock antibiotic use is practiced and on the right is the human use profile.

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