(Image: NIAID E. coli bacteria/Flickr)
So… there have been some pretty big news headlines the past few days. Between gorillas, a kid calling the police to report his dad going through a RED LIGHT and the Florida Panthers appeasing their fan base of 15 with new logos and jerseys, last week was pretty crazy.
Those weren’t headlines that I was interested in, though. If you recall back to December when I wrote about the emerging problem of antibiotic RESISTANCE, I warned that we (human beings) are sitting on the verge of a new era of mankind, and that is one where antibiotics are ineffective.
Well, maybe this era isn’t new, it already happened in the Dark Ages.
Just last week it was reported that a transferable gene, MCR-1, which makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics, arrived in the USA.
Here it is:
A long-dreaded superbug that is a strain of E. Coli has made its first appearance in the United States, researchers at the U.S. Military HIV Research Program announced Thursday.
After being identified in China, Europe and Canada, researchers identified mcr-1 positive— part of the deadly family of bacteria carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE— last month in a urinary tract sample in Pennsylvania.
We’re all f*cked.
But maybe not, we’ll see.
As I pointed out last time I wrote about this, MCR-1 is especially terrifying for people with CF because many of us harbor the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In the world of bacteria style Tinder, MCR-1 and P. aeruginosa go together like a frat dude and a sorority girl, or two Yo-Pros living in Manhattan – or peanut butter and jelly, if you prefer that kind of analogy.
The point here is that we are dealing with a very scary thing. So while you’re over there screaming about a terrible parenting mishap at the Cincinnati Zoo, we are actually dealing with a worldwide crisis in the medical field that has some very real potential to make Manhattan look just like it did in I Am Legend.
Not to mention the spawn of Zika Virus… because it makes so much sense to hold the world’s largest sporting event in a country overrun with Zika, but I don’t have time for that discussion right now.
I credit antibiotics with getting me this far. Louis Pasteur… thanks for your contribution to the world, but now we need to start figuring out a new solution (a spice from Cambodia you read about in an email chain that some naturopath swears by is not the solution, BTW).
Antibiotics lose their effectiveness each time they are used. It’s pretty basic science. Over time people lose the ability to use certain drugs and that is not magnified in anyone more than a person with CF. Many of us have a constant need for them, and that is just the harsh reality of it.
This is what CDC director Tom Frieden has to say about the emergence of MCR-1 in the US:
The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients…it is the end of the road unless we act urgently.
If you don’t believe the medicine cabinet is running out of reserves, ask anyone with CF who has undergone lung transplant. Ask someone what it is like to be told that antibiotics can no longer help. That is a reality for a lot of people, and to be honest with you, I’m hoping that I never have to hear it.
It’s time to act. I didn’t say it, the guy from the CDC did.
There is no reason that I, or anyone else, should be living with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in my (our) lungs. In this day and age we are able to do what many once dreamed of as science fiction. We’ve put a man on the moon, we’ve invented Viagra and we can shoot a missile at someone on the other side of the world with a push of a button, but for some reason we can’t figure out a way to make me stop coughing up green shit.
Someone needs to start figuring out how to deal with this. I know there is plenty of research going on to combat this issue, like this from YALE, but I’m not going to stop writing about antibiotic resistance until we get a new solution INTO patients.
Source: FOX NEWS