In the News (from The Raw Story): “Humans face the very real risk of a future without antibiotics, a world of plummeting life expectancy where people die from diseases easily treatable today, scientists say.
“Experts tracking the rise of drug resistance say years of health gains could be rolled back by mutating microbes that make illnesses more difficult and expensive to cure and carry a higher risk of death.
“At the base of the problem are doctors prescribing antibiotics wrongly or unnecessarily, and the ease with which medicines can be obtained without a script in some parts of the world, including Asia and Africa.
“As much as 70 percent of antibiotics are given for viral infections, against which they are wholly ineffective, the experts say.
“Without antibiotics to tackle opportunistic bacteria that pose a particular risk for people who are very ill, major surgery, organ transplants or cancer and leukaemia treatment may become impossible, he explained.
“’In some parts of the world, already we have run out of antibiotics,’ said Timothy Walsh, a professor of medical microbiology at Cardiff University.
“Resistance to drugs emerges through changes in the bacterium’s genetic code — altering the target on its surface to which antibiotics would normally bind, making the germ impenetrable or allowing it to destroy or ‘spit out’ the antibiotic.
“The wrong antibiotics, taken for too short a period, in too low a dose or stopped too early, will fail to kill the altered microbes.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) says drug resistance ‘threatens a return to the pre-antibiotic era.’
“’Many infectious diseases risk becoming untreatable or uncontrollable,’ it states in a fact sheet on antimicrobial resistance.
“Antibiotics are thought to have saved hundreds of millions of lives since Alexander Fleming first discovered penicillin in 1928.
“But even Fleming’s own warnings of impending drug resistance went unheeded, and now scientists say people may start dying from infections like meningitis and septicaemia that are eminently curable today.
“’If we keep going like this, the vast majority of human bacterial pathogens will be multi-resistant to antibiotics,’ said Courvalin.”
My Comment: There is only one solution that will stop our fall: striving to resemble nature so as to become similar to it through interconnection and integration. After all, our differences from its increasing integrality cause our multi-faceted crisis. If we start looking for other solutions, instead of becoming similar to it, we will trigger even greater problems.