Antibiotic Resistance

It’s almost unbelievable to think that antibiotics were discovered less than a century ago, and that before then people were severely disabled or killed by what we now regard as easily treatable diseases. Scientists have been warning for years that bacteria is slowly becoming resistant to our wonder cure and that there is no plan B when the last carefully controlled antibiotics no longer work.

Recently there has been a few stories of potential new forms which prevent us going bck to the dark ages so I’ll be monitoring developments of those here


Latest News

Immunobiotic helps wipe out deadly bacteria – The Guardian – 5-Jul-2018
Lehigh University fused an existing antibiotic with an antibody attracting molecule.
Targets bacteria often become resistant to last-resort antibiotics.
Based on polymyxin which damages the outer surface of bacterial cells.
Drug can inflict direct damage while acting like a beacon for antibodies.
Nematode worms infected with Pseudomonas had the bacteria wiped by drug.

Antibiotic supply problems hasten resistance – The Guardian – 31-May-2018
Unavailable antibiotics lead to less appropriate drugs being prescribed.
One common antibiotic was unavailable in 39 countries in 2015.
Resulted in an uptick in babies born with congenital illnesses.
Shortages due to a number of factors including low profits.
New products rarely widely used for fear of resistance developing.
Production of ingredients can sometimes be produced by just one factory.

Deaths from drug resistance fungal infections rising – Independent – 17-May-2018
Common fungal infections are becoming incurable.
Global mortality exceeds that for malaria or breast cancer.
Immunosuppressed patients (e.g. AIDS, organ transplants) most at risk.
5 types of potentially disease-causing spores in every breath.
Currently only four classes of fungicide that can be used in humans.
11 new drugs in early clinical trials.

65% worldwide increase in antibiotic use – The Guardian – 26-Mar-2018
65% rise in worldwide consumption of the drugs from 2000 to 2015.
Public health experts call for fresh strategies to rein in excessive use.
Drug-resistant infections kill more than half a million people a year worldwide.
Poorer nations still use antibiotics far less intensely than richer ones.
Colistin reintroduced despite being abandoned in the 1970s due to toxicity.

10-20 % antibiotics may be prescribed inappropriately – NHS – 27-Feb-2018
Most inappropriate prescriptions for sore throat, cough, sinusitis and ear infections.
The more antibiotic are used, the less effective they become.
Compared prescriptions against clinical treatment guidelines for the condition.
Data from 3,740,186 English GP prescriptions was used in the study.

Antibiotics fail in fifth of post-op infections – The Telegraph – 13-Feb-2018
One in 10 patients in high-income countries develop an infection while recovering.
And of those, 17 per cent were found to be antibiotic resistant.
Levels of antibiotic resistance were highest in the poorest countries.
The study tracked more than 13,000 patients in 66 countries including UK.

New antibiotic family discovered in dirt – BBC News – 13-Feb-2018
Gene sequencing analysed more than 1,000 US soil samples.
Compounds, called malacidins, annihilate several bacterial diseases.
Eliminated MRSA infected skin wounds in rats.
New antibiotic only treats gram-positive infections.
Drug-resistant diseases kill around 700,000 people a year.

Antibiotic resistance expected to reduce life expectancy – Telegraph – 1-Dec-2017
Antibiotic resistance has caused a fall in life expectancy for the first time, the Office for National Statistics has said.
Under the projection made in 2010, a baby girl born in 2016 could expect to live 83.7 years. This has now been revised down to 82.9.
Life expectancy for babies born in 2060, the latest year which appears in both models, is now two years shorter than it was in the 2010 data.

Synthetic Nanobots Could End Antibiotic Resistance – Futurism – 17-Nov-2017
Most current antibiotics wipe out all bacteria – good and bad.
French startup Eligo Bioscience is creating genetically engineered biological nanobots.
Made of synthesized DNA and protein they could specifically target resistant bacteria.
Nanobots would be inactive until they made their way to the gut.
Use CRISPR gene editing enzyme to scan bacterial DNA and identify their target.
Could be used as a prophylactic drug.
More testing needed before trying in humans by 2020.

Surgical dressing fights infections with electricity – The Engineer – 7-Nov-2017
Electroceuticals are an effective platform technology to combat wound biofilm infection.
Bacteria rely on electrostatic interactions to adhere to surfaces.
Wireless electroceutical dressing (WED) generates a weak electric field.
No need for an external power supply.
Not subject to the mechanisms that may promote drug resistance.

Antibiotic resistance could spell end of modern medicine – The Guardian – 13-Oct-2017
England’s chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies says action is needed around the world to tackle ‘hidden’ problem that is already claiming lives.
She warned of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” and urged world leaders to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.
Each year about 700,000 people around the world die due to drug-resistant infections including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.
If no action is taken, it has been estimated that drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

Dragons with blood that can save people’s lives – New Scientist – 2-Aug-2017
Komodos dragons generally eat carrion, which may be tainted with disease.
They rarely succumb to illness as their blood is loaded with antimicrobial peptides.
AMPs are an all-purpose immune defence.
Komodo, alligator and other reptile blood has been studied at Virginia’s George Mason University.
AMPs could be used as antibiotics to beat the threst of resistant bacteria.

Ultra-tough antibiotic to fight superbugs – BBC News – 30-May-17
US scientists have re-engineered the antibiotic vancomycin. Appears to be a thousand times more potent than the old drug. It fights bacteria in three different ways, making it harder for them to be develop resistance. Could be ready for use within five years – but not yet tested on animals.

WHO lists deadly bacteria in bid to push antibiotics R&D – LSIPR – 28-Feb-2017
12 families of bacteria which it claims pose the greatest threat to human health.
Antibiotic resistance is growing, and we are fast running out of treatment options

Dreaded Superbug Has Officially Arrived in the United States – IEET – 17-Nov-2016
US Centers for Disease Control has identified over a dozen cases of antibiotic-resistant fungus, Candida auris.
Four of the first seven patients infected with it have died.
Typically treated with a class of antifungal drugs called echinocandins but some now found to be resistant to all three major classes of medications.
Patients probably acquired their infections locally.
Candida auris can spread quite easily with traces found on patient’s mattress, furniture and windowsill.

Trading Modern Medicine for Cheap Meat – IEET – 3-Jun-2016
A superbug resistant to all known antibiotics has surfaced in the United States for the first time.
Rate of new antibiotic development has not kept pace with this growing problem.
Number of new antibiotic agents approved by the FDA has declined steadily over time.
In depth article discusses:
– Regulatory Hurdles
– Economic Hurdles
– Scientific Hurdles
– Antibiotic Misuse in Livestock Production and Policy Solutions

Bacteria resistant to antibiotic of last resort found in UK – BBC News – 21-Dec-2015
Colistin resistant bacteria discovered on three UK farms and in samples of human infections.
Present in almost 1 in a 1000 samples.
All resistant bacteria responsive to other antibiotics – but if mcr-1 gene is transferred to superbugs it will create infections that doctors cannot treat.
Antibiotic apocalypse threatens to plunge medicine back into the dark ages.

World on cusp of ‘post-antibiotic era’ – BBC News – 19-Nov-15
Common infections would kill once again, surgery and cancer therapies under threat.
Bacteria found in 20% of livestock in China that is resistant to drug of last resort – colistin.
Likely emerged after overuse in farm animals.
Hospitals now struggling to find an antibiotic for patients several times a month – almost unheard of only five years ago.

MIT engineers class of bacteria-destroying viruses – New Scientist – 7-Oct-2015
Timothy Lu at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aim to make a single phage modifiable with bacteria-attacking machinery from other phages.
Phage viruses infect and replicate inside bacteria, killing them, so are a possible alternative to antibiotics – and are more selective.
Successfully modified phage that normally kills E. coli to kill Yersinia and Klebsiella bacteria.

Clinical trials for new class of anti-biotic – BBC News – 31-Aug-2015
Better and faster than best currently available drug for Clostridium difficile.
Strathclyde University also testing dozens of potential S-MGB anti-biotics that target different infectious organisms.

Researchers reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics – Kurzweil AI – 7-May-15
Our goal was to find a precise, ordered schedule of antibiotics that doctors could rely on and know that in the end, resistance will be reversed, and an antibiotic will work

Most countries not protecting antibiotics, says WHO – BBC News – 29-Apr15
the globe is heading into a “post-antibiotic era” in which much of modern medicine becomes impossible.

Antibiotic switching ‘evades bacterial resistance’ – BBC News – 9-Apr-15

Antibiotic resistance: 80,000 ‘might die’ in future outbreak – BBC News – 6-Apr-15
Two in five might die.

Rapid blood test to ‘cut antibiotic use’ – BBC News – 19-Mar-15

Game-changing antibiotic find (teixobactin clears MRSA on mice) – BBC News – 7-Jan-15

Antibiotic resistance rise continues – BBC News – 10-Oct-14

Leave a Reply