Thursday, 19 November 2015

Me Old China


Disturbing news (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34857015) that several species of bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic of last resort (the agent-Colistin- is given when all other available antibiotics have failed) in livestock, fresh meat and human patients in studies carried out in China. It appears that the gene for this attribute can be passed between bacterial species, meaning that there is no way of knowing where it will subsequently appear. In deed, there are also indications that some of these 'super-bugs' have already spread to Malaysia. What people don't seem to realise is that around 2/3rds of antibiotics are used in farming as growth enhancers in a wide variety of livestock, providing perfect conditions for developing antibiotic resistance. This development could eventually mean that we would have no effective treatments for bacterial infections (even minor surgery, including tooth extraction, would be hazardous).

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