Event Title

The Nightmarish Multidrug-resistant Bacterial Infections Era is Closer Than You Thought

Presenter Information

Herman O. Sintim

Streaming Media

Infographic

Description

According to the US centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), antibiotic-resistant pathogens make over 2 million Americans sick every year and over 23,000 deaths per year could be attributed to these bugs. Worryingly there are a few pathogens, the so-called super-bugs, that are resistant to a plethora of antibiotics. Recently a Nevada woman died from infections by a superbug, which was resistant to every available antibiotic (26 drugs!) in the US. Some could argue that the Nevada woman’s story is a rare incident and nothing to worry about. After all several people die from road accidents everyday and we do not panic when getting into our cars. Before you allow such line of argument to take hold, be reminded that a recent British study has concluded that one day, several strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria could claim 10 million people every year. So what can we do to avoid this potential nightmarish era? In the last decade most of the antibacterial agents that were approved by the FDA met the same antibiotic resistance fate, probably because these agents were mere derivatives of existing drugs, for which resistant bacterial strains already existed. The current antibiotic resistance crisis and the projection that this problem will worsen calls for immediate action to identify new tactics to tackle multi-drug-resistant bacteria. A new tactic in treating bacterial infections requires paradigm shift in how we define humans. Are humans mainly made up of just human cells, which coordinate to fight invading bacteria that try to get into us? If this is the case, then perhaps good sanitary practices could protect us from any future bacterial apocalypse. But we now know that humans contain as much bacterial cells as human cells. In fact we are half-human/half-bacteria. Therefore future drugs, which could prevent a bacterial apocalypse, should be designed with this new insight in mind- fighting bacteria is fighting self.

Location

Stewart 279

Start Date

9-27-2017 11:00 AM

 
Sep 27th, 11:00 AM

The Nightmarish Multidrug-resistant Bacterial Infections Era is Closer Than You Thought

Stewart 279

According to the US centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), antibiotic-resistant pathogens make over 2 million Americans sick every year and over 23,000 deaths per year could be attributed to these bugs. Worryingly there are a few pathogens, the so-called super-bugs, that are resistant to a plethora of antibiotics. Recently a Nevada woman died from infections by a superbug, which was resistant to every available antibiotic (26 drugs!) in the US. Some could argue that the Nevada woman’s story is a rare incident and nothing to worry about. After all several people die from road accidents everyday and we do not panic when getting into our cars. Before you allow such line of argument to take hold, be reminded that a recent British study has concluded that one day, several strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria could claim 10 million people every year. So what can we do to avoid this potential nightmarish era? In the last decade most of the antibacterial agents that were approved by the FDA met the same antibiotic resistance fate, probably because these agents were mere derivatives of existing drugs, for which resistant bacterial strains already existed. The current antibiotic resistance crisis and the projection that this problem will worsen calls for immediate action to identify new tactics to tackle multi-drug-resistant bacteria. A new tactic in treating bacterial infections requires paradigm shift in how we define humans. Are humans mainly made up of just human cells, which coordinate to fight invading bacteria that try to get into us? If this is the case, then perhaps good sanitary practices could protect us from any future bacterial apocalypse. But we now know that humans contain as much bacterial cells as human cells. In fact we are half-human/half-bacteria. Therefore future drugs, which could prevent a bacterial apocalypse, should be designed with this new insight in mind- fighting bacteria is fighting self.