A woman in Pennsylvania has contracted a “nightmare bacteria,” a term used to refer to bacterial strains resistant to all antibiotics. While her method of contraction is unknown, scientists believe the strain originated from the United States given that the woman has not traveled overseas.
Dr. Kamrava, the Hemorrhoid Specialist Los Angeles, stays up to date on this kind of medical news so that he can keep his patients informed as well.
How This Happens
When there is a lot of antibiotic use in a community, bacteria mutates and becomes resistant to the antibiotics ingested. The nightmare bacteria contracted in Pennsylvania has proven resistant to all 7 types of antibiotics typically used for treatment.
One option is to make certain classes of antibiotics stronger. This only works if the antibiotic shows some ability to fight off the bacteria but is not strong enough to eradicate the infection as is.
A second option is to create an entirely new class of antibiotic. This is done by studying a given bacteria and synthesizing an antibiotic that specifically targets the strain.
The third option is to explore nature. Expeditions are being carried out in rainforests and oceans across the world in the hopes of finding material to serve as the foundation for an entirely new antibiotic.
The Chosen Approach
The plan to fight this “nightmare bacteria” or “superbug” is currently being executed by scientists in the United States. These scientists have approached the situation by developing a modified version of the antibiotic vancomycin. This antibiotic is typically used as a last resort once all other antibiotics have failed. While this drug has been described as “magical” in strength, it could be many years before clinical trials are complete and this discovery becomes a mass-market medicine.
A Broader Look
Antibiotic resistance is not a unique concern. Various strains of bacteria found in pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, and gonorrhea are becoming increasingly more resistant to antibiotics. Further, even if the re-engineered vancomycin drug becomes a widely-distributed antibiotic, the science shows that it will not work against all types of resistant bacteria.
Towards The Future
As time goes on, nightmare bacteria will inevitably become more prevalent. With this dire reality approaching, scientists will need to be vigilant in their search for a cure so that antibiotic resistance does not become a worldwide pandemic.