Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them

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We need new economic approaches to rekindle the antibiotic pipeline.

Infectious Disease Specialist Addresses Rise of the Superbugs

Public-private partnerships are potent push incentives, joining public dollars with industry to encourage specific programs that meet a need. These partnerships also help tailor antibiotic development to less common resistant infections that have limited alternative therapies, rather than zeroing in on common infections for which numerous treatments are already available.


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This is a new concept that we must encourage. The limited scope of approval and higher pricing for such antibiotics will protect them from overuse, so they will remain effective longer. Another, new and transformative approach is to develop drugs to prevent microbes from causing disease without seeking to kill them, which should cause slower emergence of resistance. In parallel with economic incentives, the Division of Anti-Infective Products at the Food and Drug Administration needs to continue to reform its approach to antibiotic clinical trials.

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In an encouraging meeting at the Brookings Institution, F. We need the F.

Let's F.I.G.H.T. The Spread of Infectious Diseases

The European Medicines Agency has led the pack, and we need to learn from them. In this era of global economy, a regulatory approach harmonized across nations ultimately will be required. Join Opinion on Facebook and follow updates on twitter. Topics: Agriculture , antibiotics , meat , medicine. Antibiotic consumption in terms of kilograms per 10 square kilometres in chickens top and pigs bottom in with forecasts in purple. Dramatic increases in meat consumption in developing giants such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China mean we stand little chance of reducing the quantities of antibiotics in the food chain, a new study says.

Unfortunately we are only at the beginning of our understanding of the problem. The livestock industry continues to deny that antibiotics in animal feed bear much blame for the growing threat from drug-resistant pathogens. But evidence increasingly indicates that resistance routinely spills over from food animals to people, in ways we are only beginning to recognise.

Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them

In one revealing study published in , for instance, Public Health Agency of Canada researcher Lucie Dutil and her colleagues monitored the effects when the poultry industry in Quebec briefly suspended use of a standard antibiotic. Levels of resistant salmonella and E. When use of the antibiotic resumed, resistant bacteria soon reappeared in both meat products and in human consumers. Looking for more science? Click here to see our subscription options. Click here to see our gift options.

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PRX » Piece » Rising Plague - Dr. Brad Spellberg - Part 1

Drug resistance may spill over from livestock to people. Bacteria eat antibiotics, and warn each other of threats. First-line antibiotics can fail almost a quarter of pneumonia patients New research on the effectiveness of antibiotics for pneumonia patients suggests doctors may need to rethink their prescriptions.