September 5, 1999 |
The antibiotic era heralded by penicillin, streptomycin and sulfonamides is barely 60 years old yet is threatened with extinction unless we act quickly and wisely. The epicenter of the problem is found in our nation's hospitals, where 5% to 10% of the most seriously ill patients will develop a hospital-acquired infection caused--70% of the time--by an antibiotic-resistant bacterium.
May 8, 1996 |
Antibiotics have long been a favorite remedy to treat acne. Adults and adolescents with even mild outbreaks are sometimes treated with tetracycline or erythromycin to quickly clear blemishes. But doctors may be forced to become stingier with antibiotics. Several recent studies show that acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes--or P. acnes--have developed strains that resist both topical and oral antibiotics.
November 13, 2012 |
Patterns of antibiotic overuse vary in the U.S. vary by region, with residents of some Southeastern states taking about twice as many antibiotics per capita as residents in some Western states. According to the Washington-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy , Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana were the states with the highest rates of antibiotic use in 2010. Those states had more than one antibiotic prescription per capita in 2010. The states with the lowest use of antibiotics that year were Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington, with just over one prescription for every two people. Overall, the rate of antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. declined from 966 prescriptions for each 1,000 residents in 1999 to 801 in 2010.
January 9, 2012 |
Only 20% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to people who are sick with bacterial infections, such as ear and urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Most of the penicillin, tetracycline and other antibiotic drugs used in this country are given to livestock that are perfectly healthy. Farmers have been putting these medicines in animal feed since the 1950s. They say the drugs help protect herds from infectious diseases and help animals grow faster. But for at least 40 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been concerned that the widespread practice may be fueling the growth of human pathogens that are no longer vulnerable to doctors' front-line drugs.
April 11, 2012 |
No place on Earth demonstrates the resilience or inventiveness of life quite like Lechuguilla Cave, whose subterranean tunnels stretch for 130 miles through Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Deep in the cave's most arid recesses, deprived of all sunlight and mostly starved of life-giving water, a lush garden of bacteria grows. Untouched by humans for all of their 4 million years, these strains of bacteria thrive on the harsh minerals of the geological formations to which they cling and fend off other life forms that would prey on them.
April 27, 2000 |
Researchers have concluded that a Nebraska boy's infection by salmonella bacteria resistant to a widely used pediatric antibiotic came from cattle on his farm. The report has heightened concerns of public health officials that the routine use of antibiotics by farmers to treat and promote the growth of livestock is reducing the ability of similar antibiotics to cure humans of infections.
August 16, 1987 |
Bacteria, which cause a wide variety of diseases in humans ranging from diarrhea to pneumonia, appear to be developing resistance to medicine's arsenal of antibiotic drugs at an alarming rate around the world. More types of bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and organisms already resistant to one drug are developing resistance to new drugs, according to a new government-sponsored study. "You have to say it's serious," said Dr. Stuart B.
December 13, 1991 |
In a recent study, researchers in Seattle found antibiotics highly effective in preventing persistent urinary tract infections in all but two young women they studied. Laboratory tests uncovered the apparent reason for the two exceptions. Both women harbored infection-causing bacteria in their systems that were resistant to antibiotics, making the drugs unable to kill the bacteria.
June 4, 1997 |
People striving to sterilize their homes and hands with anti-bacterial soaps may be fueling the development of dangerous organisms that defy known drugs, according to an authority on drug-resistant strains. Dr. Stuart Levy of Tufts University, president of the Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics, said last week that the popularity of disinfectant cleaners could not come at a worse time--an era when hospitals are discharging patients earlier to complete their recoveries at home.