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Resistance to Antibiotics as a General Issue - News Media...

Some of you probably have seen this. If you've ever took Newsweek or just listened on the evening news, you'll see this. This one happened to be in '94. "Antibiotics: The end of the miracle drugs?" Later on, if you follow- that article, it's more emphatic, the end of antibiotics, now. We're concerned, but I think they really overcooked it a lot over here. More recently this year in Business Week, "War Against the Microbes." That's another one that gets me. The first two speakers noted that microbes have an amazing adaptability for mutation to adjust to environment. If misuse of antibiotic in our medical practice is certainly a factor in selecting resistant organisms. The organisms are responding to normal pressures, but these pressures become increased with misuse of antibiotics. Whereas the microbes might see some small level antibiotic produced in the soil by Penicillium notatum, a few of them adjust, it's not like that in the hospital or even in an out patient setting. So don't blame the microbes. They're just trying survive; they're responding to what we're doing in our society.

By the way, every time we are involved in a project and we discover a new drug, someone in management always asks, "Do you think there will ever be organisms that become resistant to this antibiotic?" I will tell you, if anybody asks you that question and they're ready to put some money on it, mortgage your house, get all the money you can get and bet that there is going to be resistance. You'll win that bet. Maybe not today, maybe not in five years but eventually, you're going to win. So extend the bet over a long period of time.

At this time, currently, the battle of microorganisms versus drugs - there is that ongoing term, "battle" - It sounds like antimicrobial at least seem to be winning and the patient will respond and will have success. But now, we have more host defense compromise in the form: of radical surgery that we have to go through, the increased health problems that we're dealing with, more serious disease, and extending the life of people with cancer. Not that we shouldn't. We should. But all those people are severely immunocompromised either due to their underlying disease or a combination of their underlying disease as well as the therapy.


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