Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in India Could Spread, Experts Say
A gene that helps bacteria resist nearly all antibiotics is present in bacteria in public water supplies in New Delhi, India, researchers have found.
NDM-1 now appears to be widespread in the environment and that points to the critical need for action to limit the global spread of NDM-1-producing bacteria, said Timothy Walsh, of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues.
The spread of such bacteria could surely change the world in ways both predictable and not. For example, the widespread presence of resistant bacteria will impact major surgery, which is dependent upon the ability of antibiotics to prevent infection. Will this decrease medical tourism to India? The widespread use of analgesics to relieve aches and pains has the ancillary effect of making bleeding harder to stop. Will we limit their use to help prevent infections? (Is there a connection? Maybe just for bleeding ulcers.) Will we see more "nanny state" efforts to enforce hygiene, since we know that politicians like nothing better than crises to impose new controls on people.
I believe that we should think about these issues from the perspective of those who wish to preserve freedom, as I know the forces of statism will seize the opportunity to impose controls. A companion article also points to other failings.
And why are no new drugs in the pipeline? I suspect that our very own FDA, which is getting ever more restrictive in its approval processes under Obama is partly to blame. (Ronald Balley details the way that the FDA afflicts the drug industry here.)
The pipeline of new antibiotics is essentially empty, posing acute huge dangers to health care and efforts against infectious diseases.
Some experts warn health-care provision is in danger of reverting back to a pre-antibiotic era in which hip replacements, care of preterm babies and advanced cancer treatment are no longer possible.
And also, why is this news getting so little attention? Could it be that we have become inured to scientific disaster news, because there has been so much of it? Maybe we don't trust scientists whose horrible discovery will lead to more grant money if they can hype their findings. Maybe this isn't the horrible story I thought after all. This is the unfortunate result of politicians controlling the purse strings for science.