Scientists believe SuperBug will lead to Doomsday

22 05 2008


A strain of bacteria or virus that is resistant to all forms of anti-biotics or anti-viral medication is a strong possibility in the demise of the human civilization. If there is a superbug out there that we can’t kill, eventually it will wipe us out off this planet completely. One true example is the Black Plague, or Black Death that ravished this planet during the 1340s killing approximately 75 million people worldwide. Without the discovery of penicillin, this planet would be far different than it is today.

Taken from

Doc­tors are run­ning out of treat­ments for trau­ma vic­tims and crit­ic­ally ill pa­tients be­cause of in­fec­tions from drug re­sist­ant mi­crobes – even af­ter re­sort­ing to medicines thrown out 20 years ago be­cause of se­vere side ef­fects, sci­en­tists are re­port­ing.

A cluster of the bac­te­ria Aci­ne­to­bac­ter bau­man­ni
(Cour­tesy CDC/ Ja­nice Carr)

“Doc­tors in many coun­tries have gone back to us­ing old an­ti­bi­otics that were aban­doned… be­cause their tox­ic side ef­fects were so fre­quent and so bad,” said Mat­thew Fala­gas of the Alfa In­sti­tute of Bi­o­med­i­cal Sci­ences in Ath­ens, Greece and Tufts Uni­vers­ity School of Med­i­cine in Bos­ton, Mass.

“But su­per­bugs like Acine­to­bac­ter have chal­lenged doc­tors all over the world by now be­com­ing re­sist­ant to these old­er and con­sid­ered more dan­ger­ous med­i­cines.” Fala­gas is set to re­port the find­ings at April 1 at the So­ci­e­ty for Gen­er­al Mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gy’s annual meet­ing this week in Ed­in­burgh.

“Even col­istin,” an an­ti­bi­ot­ic disco­vered 60 years ago, “has re­cently been used as a sal­vage rem­e­dy to treat pa­tients with Acine­to­bac­ter in­fec­tions,” said Fala­gas. “And it was suc­cess­ful for a while, but now it oc­ca­sion­ally fails due to re­cent ex­ten­sive use that has caused the bac­te­ria to be­come re­sist­ant, lead­ing to prob­lem su­per­bugs… re­sist­ant to all avail­a­ble an­ti­bi­otics.”

Re­cent work by Greek re­search­ers has re­vealed Acine­to­bac­ter is more deadly than pre­vi­ously thought, Fala­gas added: it does­n’t just cause se­vere in­fec­tions, it kills un­ex­pectedly high num­bers of pa­tients. Acine­to­bac­ter can cause pneu­mo­nia, skin and wound in­fec­tions and some­times men­in­gi­tis.

The sci­en­tists iden­ti­fied a range of drug re­sist­ant strate­gies be­ing used by the bac­te­ria, in­clud­ing the pro­duc­tion of chem­i­cals which can in­ac­ti­vate the drug treat­ments, cell pumps that can bail out the drug mo­le­cules from in­side bac­te­ri­al cells mak­ing them in­ef­fec­tive, and mu­tat­ing the drug tar­get sites. This makes the drug mo­le­cules miss spe­cif­ic re­gions of the bac­te­ri­al cells that they were aim­ing for.

“There have al­ready been se­vere prob­lems with crit­ic­ally ill pa­tients due to Acine­to­bac­ter bau­man­nii in­fec­tions in var­i­ous coun­tries,” said Fala­gas. “In some cases we have simply run out of treat­ments and we could be fac­ing a pan­dem­ic.”

To view the entire article, click HERE

Posted by: D.Dig




One response

22 05 2008

Does anyone consider a Superbug as a major Doomsday possibility?

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