Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My money was on viruses

Herewith a story on antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have popped up here in the U.S. of late. I always believed that nature's response to excess human population would be viral, but I may have been wrong. Anyhow, the story will give you pause if you were thinking about routine anything in a hospital.
In at least 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, doctors have identified bacteria, including E. coli, that produce Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, or KPC--an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to most known treatments. It's much more prevalent in America than bacteria that produce NDM-1, the enzyme that has Indian doctors "hell scared," and, according to Alexander Kallen, a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the final outcome isn't much different: superbacteria that are hard to kill.

Read the whole thing here in a Yahoo news story from U.S. News & World Report.


Sugar Magnolia said...

Take it from me, you wouldn't believe the things that abound in nature and in hospital settings. Between the KPC, AmpC, ESBL, VRE, MRSA, VRSA, MDR-TB, and XDR-TB, it's a very scary world. And it's humans' folly to believe we can actually stay a step ahead of the game. This alphabet soup is something I deal with every day; I see bugs that are getting increasingly resistant, viruses that mutate at incredible rates, and antibiotics that simply don't work anymore. It's just astonishing. The more we learn, the less we really know about these organisms and their path of evolution. And, make no mistake, that is really what is happening here beyond adaptation. These things are EVOLVING.

We are constantly receiving bulletins, news releases, new research findings that new, unusually resistant strains must be reported to the state, that new (or at least previously undiscovered/undetected) viruses are sneaking into our donated blood units, and due to the world becoming smaller; i.e., global travel, we can expect to see parasites, viruses, and bacterial strains not usually encountered in America. Malaria? It's here. Dengue Fever? It's here. Rift Valley Fever? It's here. It really is such a small world after all. And we are linked by the mistaken belief we will be victors in the end.

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