CDC Official: We’ve Reached “The End of Antibiotics”

from kottke

In an interview accompanying a Frontline episode on drug-resistant bacteria, an associate director for the CDC, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, says that “we’re in the post-antibiotic era”.

The more you use an antibiotic, the more you expose a bacteria to an antibiotic, the greater the likelihood that resistance to that antibiotic is going to develop. So the more antibiotics we put into people, we put into the environment, we put into livestock, the more opportunities we create for these bacteria to become resistant. …We also know that we’ve greatly overused antibiotics and in overusing these antibiotics, we have set ourselves up for the scenario that we find ourselves in now, where we’re running out of antibiotics.

More here.


91 Responses to CDC Official: We’ve Reached “The End of Antibiotics”

  1. Kyle Anacker October 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    The topic of this article is very frightening but realistic and is something that cannot be overlooked. Bacteria have the ability to adapt to the different antibodies that we as a human race use to defend against them. Therefore, there can soon come a time when the bacteria become resistant to anything we try to use against them. It’s scary to think we are possibly breeding a generation of super bacteria that can have detrimental effects on the human race even though we’re simply trying to protect us from them now. The article relates antibiotics to a funny joke. At first the joke seems funny, but over time it becomes less and less effective until it no longer serves its purpose. This is just like the effectiveness of antibiotics. At first they can prevent many illnesses and infections, but after a while when the bacteria and viruses adapt to the defenses, the antibody will cease to be effective. Maybe scientists should start considering the future of disease and illness prevention before creating more antibodies for bacteria to adapt to, but as of now, it still seems like something out of a sci-fi book to most.

  2. Zachary Mawson October 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    This is a very interesting article and it can actually be a little scary too. The fact that people can not use antibiotics anymore because the bacteria in people’s bodies have learned to become resistant to the antibiotics. If this is the case, then it looks like scientists and doctors need to start finding new cures for these issues or else people are not going to be able to find these diseases that antibiotics were used to fight. Doctors may look and relate this issue to a bad joke because the antibiotics are just getting old and useless for everyone but when people start dying because they cannot fight the bacteria in their body, this bad joke is only going to get worse very quickly. It should be interesting to see what scientists will come up with next that will help people fight off the bacteria in their systems if the antibiotics are not going to work anymore.

  3. Josh Malcolm October 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    This article discusses a very important topic that has developed in our world. This topic is that antibiotics have come to an end. While reading this article, I was somewhat sickened by this realization because I have never really thought about it before and it is something that is very real. Bacteria is becoming resistant to all of the antibiotics we have created, which is causing people not to be cured for some infections that use to be easily curable. This is a scary thought. Does this mean that eventually many infections will not be curable in the near future, and more people will be passing away from those infections? Based on my understanding, this is what the article is leaning towards, and the only way to avoid this is to develop new antibiotics. However, this is becoming difficult, since bacteria are becoming so resistant, and basically becoming “super” bacteria.
    I really hope this is a topic people are taking serious rather than just pushing it off and thinking that this really could not happen. My reasoning is because if this is pushed off, I think it could grow to the point that it is out of our control. In addition, our health is very important to us, so we really should be on top of this, and develop a solution to this problem. If not, we will soon see major problems that relate back to this topic. Overall, this article is very intriguing and mind-blowing read. Who would think that something that is supposed to be helping us could actually be hurting us? I know I would not have that thought ever occur to me, but because some people have realized this, I would like to see a solution to this issue.

  4. Zachary Gates October 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    The fact that antibiotics are starting to not work is honestly very scary to me because when something becomes untreatable that is one of the worst things that could happen. We start to run out of options for things leaving people with serious problems. Antibiotics are given out very easily and doctors have no problem with it, signing the sheets and having the people go on their merry way. They are getting these antibiotics and using them so much that they are becoming immune to them. We need to start watching where were giving these drugs and how much we are giving to people because once we are immune to these we are going to have some serious problems that are going to affect the generations for years to come.

  5. Greg Fazio October 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    This is a very interesting topic. We are consistently making advances in the medical field to make human lives healthier and lengthier. But with more and more medicine, comes more and more resistant in bacteria. It is a catch-22. We are trying to help human kind, but in the long run we may be doing more harm by giving bacteria resistance to our antibiotics. How do you beat more resistant bacteria? You get stronger medicine. But the ones that are surviving from the stronger medicine are the most resistant, and they will be the ones able to reproduce and stay existing.

    This makes me think that maybe all natural treatments may be the best route for humans in many cases such as the common cold or things that are not deadly. It also makes me think about how the human race is doing damage to the environment and making our world a worse place to live. Our ozone is depleting, and the climate is changing as a result of us. Now, bacteria are stronger then ever. It is something that needs to be addressed soon.

  6. Ryan Kontura October 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    This article strikes me as a very scary and disturbing article. It talks about how since antibiotics have been in use for so long and so much of them are used worldwide, bacteria is starting to grow stronger so that the antibiotics aren’t very effective. This is very bad for obvious reason, we as humans depend on antibiotics to cure us when we are sick. It was explained like how the first time you hear a joke its very funny but each time you here it after it gets less funny until it’s not funny anymore. That is how antibiotics are, they were very effective in the beginning, but as time progressed, they weren’t doing as good of a job as before.
    It was stated that it is becoming the post-antibiotic era. This seems to me like a bad thing but maybe its not. Hopefully doctors can find other ways to cure the diseases and we will still be able to rely on doctors to make us better. The article eds by saying how there no low point in this situation which causes chronic trauma, which are things like global warming, mass extinction, and other terrible things. That worries me a lot and doesn’t sound like medicine can keep up with all the bacteria and diseases.

  7. Samantha Cruz October 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    This article does not surprise me. For years scientists have been saying that doctors should not be prescribing antibiotics to patients for every little thing. Children great the most antibiotics because of strep throats and ear infections so when they become grown up there bodies are so use to the antibiotics, scientists are saying that when they will need it one day it will not work for them.

    To think that the bacteria’s are getting stronger then our medicine, is nerve racking. Todays viruses and bacteria’s are growing quickly and stronger then we need them to be and scientists are not making antibiotics stronger for these types of viruses and diseases.

    Scientists need to focus a little more on antibiotics that will kill the new viruses and diseases out there. Doctors need to prescript less antibiotics and hope that we won have a universe like the movie “Contagious.”.

  8. Amanda Reed-Darby October 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I have heard that eventually infections would become drug resistant and it seems now that doctors are a lot less likely to prescribe antibiotics unless it is really a bad infection. I just never thought that time would come so quickly. This is unsettling to think that something you had as a child and was treated for, now your child could get it and those same medications won’t work. This will be a major problem for people until new treatment options can be developed. Until then, doctors will have to keep trying to treat bacterial infections through alternative methods and only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary.
    The good news is that pharmaceutical companies have the opportunity to develop some ground breaking new forms of treatments. There is potential for new medications, as well as new treatment options for doctors to use. We need to be more cognizant of the germs, bacteria and protecting ourselves from infection.

  9. Dwight Mathis October 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    This is great topic, that has been talk about for some time now. To see that antibiotics are coming to an end has no surprise to me. The article makes perfect sense on why we need to stop using antibiotics before it is to late. The more we use antibiotics, the more you expose the a bacteria to it. Meaning after a while of using antibiotics the bacteria builds up an immune system to it. I just hope we are not a little bit to late on our decision to stop now.

    All I can think about now is the future, where do we go from here? If we stop using antibiotics what will we use to fight different infections and bacteria. As much as technology has grown, there should be a solution in place first before shutting down the antibiotics. This is a scary time for our country if we dont come up with a solution fast. United States are in no position to not being able to take care of the people. I am very eager to see what we do in the next couple of years to fix this situation.

  10. Nick Smith October 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    ShannonWeb 13

    This actually doesn’t surprise me, because for this reason I try to avoid taking medicine. It has always been to my knowledge that the more of an antibiotic you take, over time your body will become resistant to it. This is exactly what Dr. Arjun srinivasan says in this article, “The more you use an antibiotic, the more you expose a bacteria to an antibiotic, the greater likelihood that resistance to that antibiotic is going to develop.” It will be curious to see how people react to this, whether they stop taking antibiotics for the common cold or continue on the current path to lack of antibiotics. The unfortunate part about all this is that we might have to spend more time and money on researching drugs for the common cold that we had five years ago instead of researching for cures to cancer and aids.

  11. John Pennell October 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    This article brought to light an issue that has often been put under the radar despite the seriousness of the situation. The fact that antibiotics are being overused and diseases have begun to develop tolerances is quite a scary scenario. As the article states, modern medicine has not attempted to adapt to how diseases work but has instead employed the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” method. Yes the medicine is working right now, but there will be have to be changes soon if antibiotics are to continue to work in the future.
    As the diseases change so should the preventative care taken against it. Antibiotics are just one treatment method used to fight diseases but because they are so effective in the short run hospitals continue to use them. As the article states, it is important to use methods which vary so that no tolerance can be built. As this situation gains more attention, medicine will likely change and adapt just has it has in the past.

  12. Brianna Grzyminski October 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    As people are given antibiotics, the bacteria are becoming resistant. As more people are becoming immune to antibiotics, it is becoming harder to treat the infections that were formerly very treatable. Now since the immunity is becoming increasingly more common, the time has come to the end of antibiotics.
    Now there needs to be some research done that will take the place of antibiotics that will treat the bacterial infections. With the technological advances, there is a way that researchers can find a more efficient way in treating these bacterial infections that hopefully the human body cannot grow immune to.

  13. Bre Kelly October 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    This article about “the end of antibiotics” is very compelling information, the fact that there are bacteria immune to antibiotics is a big issue. For the entire world, doctors should come together and try to create a solution where the bacteria can be obstructed. When the article mentions an example of a joke not being funny after the third or fourth time, it put the situation in perspective for the bacteria being nonresistant antibiotics. I hope that for all people we will find a solution to fix this issue.

  14. Paul Kuhl October 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    This article shows us a major issue in America right now. That issue is the fact some bacteria infected people cannot get better due to the immunity of bacteria in the antibiotic. Doctors cannot keep up with these medicine demands for these different medicines. They are quickly running out of treatments and people are building up immunities. People have published articles like these before with similar warnings. So this has been a known problem and we are almost in a post-antibiotics era.

    Americans, in my opinion, rely way too much on antibiotics. This article to me proves that. It has come to the point were we have no therapy for certain patients. Infections are getting worse, and it is now taking longer for people to get over this sickness. Hopefully new research will come out so we don’t have to do into an era without them. I don’t think this era will be anytime soon but we either need to move quick for new therapies or we need to cut down on our use of them.

  15. Megan Chase October 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Stories like this are frightening. In a world where we may sometimes over prescribe antibiotics, we don’t see any way that this could hurt us. It solves the problem right then and there and then we do not have to worry about it. But the problem, as the article described, is just getting bigger. We use antibiotics to fight everything. But we don’t have anything to beat the ones who can beat that. It doesn’t make sense to just keep prescribing more and more. Higher dosages can hurt the body more than the actual infection does. And eventually even that will stop working. So what is there to do? There has to be some solution to the problem. But until that can be found, or we can get on the right track to it, the world is going to be a little scarier, even if you just get a cold.

  16. Rachel Rayon October 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    This article stated that we are in a post-antibiotic era. I remember an incident back in high school that is related to this issue. There was this guy who would always sanitize his hands at the beginning of each class and every time he would eat a snack. The teacher soon noticed that he was doing this on a daily basis and made a comment. He stated, “If you keep on using hand sanitizer your hands will soon become immune, and one day you will put hand sanitizer on your hands and it will not kill the germs because it will no longer have an effect.” This is exceptionally true and the article mentions the same thing. Dr. Arjun Srinivasan announced that “the more you use an antibiotic, the more you expose a bacteria to an antibiotic, the greater the likelihood that resistance to that antibiotic is going to develop. So the more antibiotics we put into people, we put into the environment, we put into livestock, the more opportunities we create for these bacteria to become resistant.” Dr. Srinivasan gave a good analogy as he compared the use of antibiotics and making a joke. But, this issue is rather complicated because there are existing patients that cannot be treated because they are immune to these antibiotics. In the future, advances in science and technology should be able to produce stronger antibiotics to combat these infections and diseases. Scientists and doctors should look further into the studies of medicine to counteract the evolution of bacteria.

  17. Justin Thomas October 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    This is an article that I think people would have a tough time reading. To find out that antibiotics are reaching its end is very shocking. I think most people are unaware about this fact and honestly do not want to know about it. It would be scary to think that all this bacteria that surrounds the world could have a serious impact on humans with no more antibiotic. There will have to be a change soon or society will face some serious consequences.
    The more that antibiotics are used, the more of that bacteria is put back into the world. Because there are so many antibiotics out in the world there aren’t that many more to make. If there is no more antibiotic to make then what will we do. Scientist I’m sure are already working on a substitute or cure for this situation. I do think that this story hasn’t been exposed greatly yet because the American public wouldn’t handle it well. It is a scary situation and I look forward to researching this story in the future.

  18. Shayanne Joseph October 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    We would debate this topic a lot in my biology class. We would decide whether it was worth it to get an antibiotic for an infection or not. Most of the time when a person gets the antibiotic it does not help much. Bacteria have continuously found a way to not only become resistant but become stronger. Not to mention there are endless strains of bacteria that exists today. There is a reason why people always get a cold, there is not one but many different types of bacteria that contribute to the common cold.

    I remember walking into a rite aid about a week or two ago and an employee had asked me if I wanted a flu shot. I proceeded to turn her down and was asked why. It had everything to do with what this article states. The flu shot cannot protect me. They do not even know which strain of bacteria they are producing the flu shot for. It is probably better to just let the illness run its course rather than use ineffective antibiotics.

  19. Nina Kowaliwskyj October 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    While reading this article I could not believe what Dr. Arjun Srinivasan was stating, that we are in the post-antibiotic era. While reading this article I remembered being in my old science class and my professor always telling my fellow classmates and I to try and not take so many antibiotics when it wasn’t necessary. He told us to try and not to because then there were going to be more germs that aren’t influenced by the antibiotics and those would grow more rapidly and we would somehow have to try to find another option. I cannot believe years after hearing this, it is actually happening and antibiotics aren’t working like they used to. I still cannot believe that we can be so advanced in technology but with our society always taking antibiotics it is like we are somewhat backtracking in that department. It is also scary to think that our antibiotics are now on the same level as our thinking with global warming, mass extinction etc. since there was/is no clear low point.

  20. Shakespeare Nelson November 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    When i was a young school boy, my 5th grade science teacher was all against the use of medicine to cure average sicknesses due to fact that she always says “why put something in my body once that while making you feel better for a short time, brings about 2 more problems (side effects). Being around this teacher, help me develop a sort of medicine free formula for recovering from illnesses. However, my siblings were and are constantly in the medicine cabinet.

    From that story you can probably guess who will be more effected by the news in this article. For many people who often get ill, antibiotics are their step too recovery. This tolerance development for antibiotics of many viruses out there will probably cause many to look for a new form of remedy. I personally believe that the best way is to allow our body to do what it was programmed to do which is protect itself.

  21. Anthony Giardina November 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    It was only a matter of time before this would happen and now that time is upon us. The age of useless antibiotics is here. The reason that antibiotics are now a thing in the past is because we used them so often that now most bacteria evolved to be resistant to antibiotics. We have foreseen this problem but never really did anything to prevent it.
    Now it seems like we are going to have to come up with something and fast. We are a developed society we can’t be set back by this dilemma. We are going to have to develop some alternative way to combat bacteria. This must be done before we start losing a lot of life. I say begin research now and hopefully have a much safer future.

  22. Matt W November 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    For several years, my parents have been talking to me about a topic similar to this. Mainly because I don’t like to finish my anti-biotics I am given once I get sick. And it is people like me who are causing these such problems. The bacteria inside of us aren’t fully killed because we do not finish medication, and that allows it to develop resistance over time. The generation time for a bacteria is one day; whereas a human’s generational time is about 22 years. Allowing for natural selection and mutation to take place much more quickly. Also allowing for more deadly forms of bacteria.
    The article brings some very good points to mind. Doctors often get paid if patients use certain medication and anti-biotics. And people today know that they can go to their doctors and get prescriptions for whatever they are complaining about immediately. And the doctors have incentive to give out because they make the extra cash. It was a deadly circle, that allows the emergence of super bugs like the article talks about; for example, not being able to treat an infection that five years ago, was easily curable. In the future, anti-biotics and anti-virals really will not matter.
    Tiny nano-robots will be injected and will programmed to seek and destroy and cancer, virus, or bacteria cells. The robots may even live inside of us on a constant basis doing routine repairs in minutes or hours, that our body takes days to do. In the end, nano-robots will be far more effective than any chemical anti-biotics could ever hope to be.

  23. Clint Morrison November 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    This is a very true topic that I have heard about a few years ago. When one is sick or has an infection, the doctor suggests anti-biotics which we take and not think twice about. The more we take these anti-biotics, the more the bacteria is exposed to this “cure” and over time the bacteria will be able to eventually fight and provides smaller chances that the anti-biotics will help cure the sickness or infection.
    After years of using anti-biotics eventually we will be at the end of the road, and these cures will not help fix the problem. There is only so many years left of these remedies working that many should fear how they will fight off serious illnesses that could be easily cured.

  24. Joe Marchiafava November 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    This article caught my attention because I was recently sick and was prescribed antibiotics. I agree with Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, that we are in the “post- antibiotics era. I have taken antibiotics multiple times throughout the years to take care of my sicknesses; it was the only medicine that would allow me to feel 100% in just a week. However, the effectiveness of the product has diminished each time I have taken it. It is frightening to think that we are in an era, which antibiotics cannot fight everyday infections.

    Antibiotics have been given out like “candy” from doctors over the years. In some rare situations, doctors do reject patients of antibiotics, which is for their own benefit. Doctors should not be in complete blame; over the counter drugs work less effective than antibiotics, which forces people to take prescription drugs. I believe drug companies need to make their products more effective in order to escape the “post-antibiotics era.”

  25. Melissa R. November 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    The possibility that antibiotics may no longer be effective does pose a probable threat to humanity. If not for effective medications and bacteria mutating to grow resistant, what is the alternative? It can be argued that people have become fully reliant on medication to cure illnesses and infections. This may inhibit the ability for your body’s immune system to strengthen and better ward off ailments. Furthermore, I do not believe patients are educated enough with regard to medications. In my opinion, if their physician prescribes them a solution to their sicknesses, they will oblige. It seems as though we reliant on their professional guidance, which is expected.

    While the article is an interesting read, it lacks certain substance. The article is a mere interview with an official from the CDC and does not provide enough information to substantiate their claims.

  26. Kelsey Kowalski November 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    The world today overuses antibiotics and it’s now causing a problem. Bacteria are now becoming resistant to antibiotics because of so much exposure to them. We are now going into a post antibiotic era according to a doctor from the CDC (cdc). Simple infections that were being treated five years ago easily are now leaving doctors stumped due to resistance to the antibiotics. Doctors are worried we’re getting close to the point where people might start dying over infections because they can no longer be treated.
    It’s scary to think what is going to happen in the future with antibiotics. We’ve come pretty far in medicine and now it’s starting to seem like we’re back tracking. We can go to the moon and back but are now having trouble trying to figure out how to treat infections. It’s not like we are trying to cure cancer, these are just simple infections that used to be able to be treated. I think we need to focus a lot more time and money into medicine. It should be a priority in our country to find solutions to infections and diseases. Another big problem that is constantly being discussed is cancer. It’s another deadly health issue that we need to focus on greatly.

  27. Kara Schwartz November 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    The article is indeed a wakeup call. People use antibiotics to treat all types of bacteria and viruses and now they are not working. We have become so heavily reliant on antibiotics when infected with a bacteria, it was only a matter of time for the bacteria to resist the medications. I wonder what the next approach to fighting bacterial infections will be. I ponder if doctors attempted to create a new type of medication since the end of antibiotics was anticipated. The article states that new therapies are being brainstormed, but if a new treatment is not developed, many infected individuals could die from the simplest illness.
    I honestly think that doctors and pharmacists should have devised a plan for when an event like this occurred. The article even stated that medical officials have been anticipating this day, yet no research or preparation was done to prevent this. If research and tests were conducted when this thought occurred, a new treatment to bacterial infections could exist and not put infectious individuals at risk for death.

  28. Theresa Quinn November 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    This article was interesting to read because as we approach the winter, we’re also approaching the cold and flu season. Every winter everyone seems to get that cold that they just can’t knock that inevitably turns into some kind of sickness that requires some kind of medication. The joke analogy that the author used to describe human’s growing resistance to antibiotics really put into perspective how big of a deal this could potentially be. I could see this being a big issue in the next few years because everyone relies on antibiotics to treat all kinds of illnesses, etc. It’s shocking and scary to even think that one day antibiotics won’t even be a viable option to help us. Not only are these medicines used to help with illness but they also help with pain relief and things of the like. I cannot imagine what else could be used in their place.

  29. Samantha LaBruno November 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    This article is very shocking, and brings up a serious topic, which many scientists might not wish to discuss. We have reached a time where many infections cannot be treated with antibiotics. We have given so many people so many different antibiotics that now most of the bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics. This is an issue that is killing more and more people. The article has named this time the “post-antibiotic era.”
    The author makes an analogy for this situation. He says the post-antibiotic era is like a bad joke that is told over and over again. The first couple of times you hear the joke, it is funny. However, as the joke gets told more and more often it becomes annoying. In this case, now that the post-antibiotic era is finally here, people are dying. It is much more serious than a joke becoming “annoying.” The author also adds that there is no “low point” to this situation. This means that once the worst part of a disaster passes, it can be fixed and will get better. However, this situation has no low point. Drug-resistant infectious diseases are very real and society will suffer. My question is: if the only way doctors know how to treat infections is with antibiotics that are no longer helpful, how will they cure these infections now?

  30. Tom Avanzato November 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    I’ve known for some time now that taking antibiotics make’s you more and more prevalent to illness. The bacteria themselves learn to combat the antibiotics the more they’re used. It’s basic Darwinism, survival of the fittest. Bacteria we’re the first forms of life on this planet, they adapted to live in Earth’s harsh climates on a daily basis. Without their keen adaptations we wouldn’t be alive today. If we give our children large amounts of antibiotics while they’re growing up, later in life they will need the medicine to just live normally. Most ailments can be cured naturally without the use of powerful antibiotics. The more we take antibiotics to help us get rid of bacterial infections the weaker our own immune system becomes. Eventually our immune system will reject the antibiotics all together and not even bother to try to get rid of the bad bacteria in our bodies.

  31. Anthony Amoroso November 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Everyone at some point has had to use antibiotics to get over some illness they have contracted over the years, and through the use of this antibiotic they were cured. These antibiotics not only make us resistant to its use in the future but also strengthen the bacteria that make us sick originally. This is essentially meaning that each illness our doctors use antibiotics to treat are now stronger than they were to begin with. Currently there are no alternative treatment methods but as we progress in medicine and healthcare something must end the use of antibiotics. While they are a temporary fix they can have the potential for harm in the long run.
    There must be a new alternative for our illnesses as they will only get stronger through the use of antibiotics. It will become a slippery slope and only make simple illnesses harder to cure in the long run. At the very least antibiotic use should be scarce and rationed lightly.

  32. Shaun Spiller November 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    The title of the article caught my eye and for a brief second I was confused. I thought to myself “the end of antibiotics? How can that be?” As I started to read the first few sentences of the article I was quickly able to relate this to others I have come across. This is becoming a serious dilemma and not many people are aware of how this will affect the future generations. It is scary to think a simple virus can adapt and grow immune to existing antibiotics. It makes me worry for my future children as well as myself that one day we may get sick with a common infection, and we will not be able to rely on antibiotics.
    Antibiotics are used throughout the world however, we need to start to ask ourselves if there are other ways we can approach the sickness. The more we introduce antibiotics to the world, the larger the risk gets that we may not be able to use them in the future.

  33. Kelsey Gurreri November 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    My father has worked in the pharmaceuticals for 35 years now. I remember even when I was little that antibiotics were going to be over used and that the people will become resistant. I remember research came out that we shouldn’t even use antibacterial ointment. Now, I don’t know if back then the doctors even knew how correct they were but it has definitely become a huge world wide problem. Our society is so crazy about health in germs that we have brought this upon ourselves. Some of the kids I go to college with, the minute they get a cough go to the health center to get medicine, some even take their old antibiotics when they feel sick.
    It’s an epidemic and it’s scary to think that some day anyone of us could die from a disease that could have been given antibiotics today. The worst part is that it is affect later generations because of babies being born with the carrier proteins that fight against antibiotics. Its being passed generation to generation and I don’t know what could be done to stop it. Maybe government regulation? I know for sure that doctors need to start finding new antibiotics and quickly, ones that our bodies are immune to. It’s a scary future for us all and we need to be more aware of this and how serious it is.

  34. Danielle L November 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    This article was very shocking to read, as I learned the long term effects of antibiotics. Throughout our lives we all get sick, and what do we turn to, to make us better? Antibiotics! If we keep taking antibiotics, the bacteria will become more and more resistant. It is scary to know our health is at risk, and something that is used to help us, actually ends up hurting us. It is now time to discover a new way to treat our sicknesses that will not cause harm to the body. I think more people should be informed about this topic so everyone can stop abusing its use. Antibiotics are like jokes the article says. And it is a very true statement. The first time you hear a joke its funny, but as you keep hearing it, it is no longer funny. Well, that is how these antibiotics are working. We use them once and they work great. So we keep taking them every time there is something wrong with us, making it immune to our body. Hopefully the medical field will be making medical advances and to help cure this problem.

  35. Margaux Brooks November 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    This article is a rude awakening. The more you use and expose bacteria to an antibiotic, the more likely it is going to become resistant to that antibiotic. This means that eventually, bacteria and infections that were once easily curable are not going to be. Some infections have become completely resistant to all antibiotics that were used to cure it. We are running out of antibiotics. It has come to the point where people are dying because the antibiotics simply are not effective anymore.
    This should definitely be a worldwide concern. One can get an infection that was never a worry of fatality and now may be. Antibiotics are definitely used too frequently in our society today. I also feel as if this is also going to cost more money within the states. There is going to be more research that is going to have to be done because we can’t just let people die from growing infections.

  36. Fan Zhang November 9, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    In an article published on Oct 24th, Dr. Arkjun Srinivasan mentioned that we are in the post- antibiotic era. In the article he explained how the more use of an antibiotic, the more a bacteria is exposed to an antibiotic, the greater the likelihood that resistance to that antibiotic is going to develop. Srinivasan goes on to say that people are overusing antibiotics and now we are running out of antibiotics to treat people who actually need it. This misuse of antibiotics has caused a post- antibiotic era, causing position of having patient in a bed that is left untreated.
    Furthermore, he mentions that in newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about “The end of antibiotics, question mark?” should now be changed to “The end of antibiotics, period.” What Dr. Srinivasan is particularly true because antibiotics are being misused and most bacteria are becoming resistant to them making them less effective. This is turn makes antibiotic less effective in time of virus.
    This article sparks interest in me because antibiotics are important and people need to control their intake of antibiotics. It is sad to see people who are left untreated because bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotic. In today society many people are so called misusing drugs in general and that should be regulated more seriously by doctors and pharmacies so that individuals are not dying and can be treated.
    My classmates should be interested in this article as well, because it can affect their life. This informative article can teach a lesson on the use of antibiotic. It is surprising how many people do not understand that bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, but its true. Also the way Dr. compares antibiotics to a joke is reasonable. He mentioned that the first time you hear a joke its funny, but as it is repeated it becomes less humorous. For antibiotics however they become less effective over time when used too often.

  37. Miza L November 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    I agree with this article every time you go to the doctor for a sickness you had more than once they continue to give you something different to cure it. The doctor’s know that the same medicine won’t always work multiple times because your body gets used to it. The same reason why they tell you to go back and forth between ibuprofen and Tylenol they know if you keep taking it over and over the effects will not work. On the news I heard there is a new strand of meningitis and the shots that we get won’t help this strand just prove that we are in trouble. Soon there will be no cure for anything.

  38. Lidia March 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    I was born in Indonesia where you can buy antibiotics over the counter. People take antibiotics for everything, from simple cold to more serious illness. After high school I moved to the Netherlands for college. The doctors there are really tough. They don’t like to prescribe medicines unless you are really sick. I had UTI a few times and my doctor sent me home with an advice to drink a lot of water and take vitamin C. I was really horrified until I read an article about antibiotic problem. Not long after I read another article about how the pharmaceutical companies “dumped” expired medicines to third world countries. No wonder people in Indonesia can buy antibiotics over the counter. The government didn’t do anything about it, probably out of ignorance or the benefit that they got from it.

  39. MJR November 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    The article presents us with the overwhelming possibility that the common cold will one day have the ability to be life-threatening. We have been using antibiotics for the past 70-80 years, the more we use antibiotics, the more widespread bacterial resistance to these drugs become. It is a classic case of natural selection, as every time we take an antibiotic, sensitive bacteria are killed while resistant germs are left to grow and multiply. Reasoning to why the antibiotic era is under flux is the over-prescribing of antibiotics, people would accept anything the higher up would give them, causing bacteria to become resistant, also stronger. Now, we must have the ability to create medicine(s) that will ultimately destroy the stronger bacteria.
    The problem with creating new medicine is the fact that smaller biotech companies account for 80% of antibiotic development where there are only around 40 new antibiotics in development. Another bigger problem would be the profitability if a company were to make and have a new antibiotic passed by the FDA. Any new antibiotics that might be developed to fight drug-resistant bacteria will likely be used very sparingly under highly controlled circumstances, to slow the development of resistant bacteria and extend their usefulness. Another issue at hand would be the amount it would cost for a life-saving antibiotic if we needed one, for example, we pay $100,000 or more for cancer drugs that cure no one, maybe adding a few weeks to their lives, we pay $10,000’s for surgery on our new, yes it helps us but is it life-saving? If millions/thousands of people are dying because of a bacterial disease, you can only pray people will have the ability to afford it.

  40. Abigail Johnson October 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

    The topic of antibiotics is a relatively new topic that I am becoming aware of. I would have never considered us to be in the time where we have used up the antibiotics purpose, and there is no further prevention. It is unrealistic to think that anyone, no matter how clean they may be, can prevent themselves from ever coming into contact with certain germs and bacteria. The original purpose of the antibiotic was to have our body build up an immunity to whatever illness you have. This is to prevent you getting infected again, because your body will have a tolerance to the bacteria or virus, resulting in your immune system fighting off the bacteria and preventing you from getting sick. However, the article points out that people have now overused the antibiotics, because bacteria has adapted and become resistant to the antibiotics that once worked.
    I never knew that this type of era, referred to as the “Post Antibiotic Era” existed, and is happening all around us. The only thing that we can do to fight back the rise of new bacteria and viruses is by creating stronger, and newly created antibiotics that are meant for the new and stronger bacteria and viruses. I think that antibiotics are an effective way to heal the ill, when used correctly. I never knew that you could build up a tolerance to antibiotics, so whenever you go on an antibiotic, they increase the dosage if you have taken it before. This technique is a way to outsmart and think outside of the box in the science of medicine. However, it is unfortunate that people lost their lives in the time period when we did not know the dangers of antibiotics, and how it makes our immune systems’ weaker towards diseases.

  41. Joe Russulle June 14, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    With the initial discovery of Penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have proven to be quite necessary and efficient towards treating, curing and preventing certain illnesses. British bacteriologist Alexander Flemming is recognized for discovering a mold that developed on an accidentally contaminated staphylococcus culture plate. Upon further examination of the mold, he noticed that the culture inhibited the growth of staphylococci. He then ran more tests and soon realized that penicillin had no effect against gram-negative organisms but was effective against gram-positive bacteria. Thus, it becomes evident that antibiotics would not be as effective against all strains of bacteria.
    Moreover, the concept of natural selection becomes key when discussing why the use of antibiotics may soon cease to be helpful in treating diseases. Over time, as organisms are continuously exposed to an environment, they become better adapted to their environment and therefore tend to survive and reproduce more easily. This goes to say that some strains of the bacteria become immune to the antibiotics due to natural selection. These immune strains exist due to mutations that occur as the bacteria reproduce. Moreover, as the parent bacteria reproduce, its offspring is also immune to the antibiotic, causing the antibiotic to become ineffective and useless.
    Although natural selection plays a role in the ineffectiveness of antibiotics, humans can also be blamed for the counterproductive effects of antibiotics and the success of bacteria’s natural selection process. The widespread use of penicillin became necessary during the 20th Century, particularly during World War II. Therefore, companies in the United States were producing as much as 650 billion units of penicillin per month. This antibiotic successfully treated severe infections including bacterial meningitis, pneumococcal pneumonia, and many others.
    Infection rates have been well controlled since the discovery of antibiotics. However, these rates are beginning to change as the strains of bacteria associated with various STI’s are becoming resistant to antibiotics. A recent study conducted by the World Health Organization reveals that gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. The report also included that there are only three types of new antibiotics in the stage of development for this type of infection. While the current treatment recommendation relies on a shot of the antibiotic ceftriaxone and an oral dose of azithromycin, these antibiotics can very easily become bacteria-resistant. Overall, although bacteria strains become resistant to antibiotics, I do not agree with the concept of “we’ve reached the end of antibiotics.” Antibiotics have been continuously developed since the early 20th century and it is possible that scientists will continue to discover newer antibiotics that will be effective towards various strains of bacteria.

    Feltman, Rachel. “Sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high (again). But why?” Popular Science. Aug. 29, 2018.

    American Chemical Society International Historic Chemical Landmarks. “Discovery and Development of Penicillin.”

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