Patt Morrison for March 19, 2012

Antibiotics are becoming dangerously ineffective, says World Health Organization

Cells of salmonella isolated from macrophages.

The world is entering an antibiotic crisis in which routine injuries such as a skinned knee could potentially be fatal, according to the World Health Organization (WHO.) Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO, has warned that bacteria carried by humans are starting to become so resistant to common antibiotics that every antibiotic ever developed, including drugs used to treat tuberculosis and malaria, is at risk of becoming useless.

As a result, Chan claimed, day-to-day treatments may become impossible, which could bring about “the end of modern medicine as we know it.”

The primary cause of the antimicrobial resistance has been largely attributed to the misuse of antibiotics, which are inappropriately prescribed and used too frequently and for too long. In order to overcome this potential crisis, the WHO has pleaded for medical innovation and has appealed to governments across the world to support research of antimicrobial resistance.

WEIGH IN:

How often do you use antibiotics? What alternative treatments can be administered to fight against bacteria other than antibiotics?

Guests:

Gregory Hartl, World Health Organization spokesman

Dr. Brad Spellberg, associate professor, medicine, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center


blog comments powered by Disqus