You know it is bad when even the New York Times is discussing antibiotic resistance. How bad is it? From this NYTs report, it appears that gram negative organisms are vying to replace MRSA (a gram positive bacteria) on the list of the biggest problems in the world of antibiotic resistance. One of the organisms discussed, Acinetobacter baumannii was the cause of many Gulf War infections. According to the report:
“In many respects it’s far worse than MRSA,” said Dr. Louis B. Rice, an infectious-disease specialist at the Louis Stokes Cleveland V.A. Medical Center and at Case Western Reserve University. “There are strains out there, and they are becoming more and more common, that are resistant to virtually every antibiotic we have.”
According to researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, more than 20 percent of the Klebsiella infections in Brooklyn hospitals are now resistant to virtually all modern antibiotics.
OK, it wasn’t on their front page, but in their business section. Why? Maybe because big Pharma isn’t interested in making antibiotics that act on gram negative infections. Yet. Also, these gram negative infections are still predominately limited to hospitals. Unfortunately, it appears they may be a primary cause of nosocomial infections which kill 99,000 individuals every year. And remember when MRSA was first discovered, it too was limited to hospitals. It managed to find its way out of the hospitals, when will these?
And the final note? According to one doctor quoted in the article:
For Gram-positives we need better drugs; for Gram-negatives we need any drugs
On my note, we need to be more responsible when using antibiotics. Period.