“There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and, by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug (antibiotics), make them resistant,” Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered penicillin, cautioned at the acceptance of his Noble Prize in 1945.
Thanks to the medical-industrial complex and its tendency to prescribe antibiotics for just about every illness, including viruses, bacteria are getting smarter. Because we are giving non-lethal doses of antibiotics to bacteria on a massive scale, Fleming’s prediction in 1945, is now coming true.
The limited number of antibiotics in the world cannot keep up with the rapid rate of evolving bacteria. The world will soon be in a post-antibiotic era.
“Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill,” warned the World Health Organization’s director-general Margaret Chan in 2012.
This ominous prediction is now swiftly coming in to fruition.
Currently, 700,000 people (230,000 newborns) die every year from superbugs that have evolved a resistance to antibiotics. According to a British study, that number is estimated to jump to 10,000,000 by the year 2050 and cost the world economy $100 trillion.
“If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told The Guardian. “It will undermine sustainable food production. And it will put the sustainable development goals in jeopardy.”
The outlook for humanity is, indeed, bleak. However, thanks to a handful of research students from the University of Melbourne School, we may have hope after all.
Ph.D. student Shu Lam, the study’s lead researcher, believes they’ve found a way around antibiotic dependency in the battle against bacteria.
“We’ve developed a new class of antimicrobial agents, which are very unique. They come in the form of tiny star-shaped molecules that are made from short chains of proteins,” Lam told VICE. “We found that they are very effective at wiping out [bacterial] infections in mice and they are also relatively non-toxic to the body.”
Read more HERE