Resistance To Antibiotics Is Failing.
of drug options via doctors is short and
are pushing our immune system's to the
Every month more
and more drugs are failing to combat
Drug resistance is partially our
own fault for trusting in doctors with blind faith
and willingly allowing them to prescribe countless
poisonous drug cocktails, especially when we are
desperate for relief from pain. The doctors are
first and foremost to blame as they have long
placed profit before honesty and knowledge,
scribbling out prescriptions as fast as we ask for
The article below explains what is
happening today and hopefully will prevent so many
people reaching for quick fixes with toxic
medications. Our immune systems are shot. Detox
and radical changes in lifestyle and thinking must
now take place if we are to remain healthy and not
succumb to the never ending strains of new
bacteria that are flooding populations worldwide.
race ahead of drugs.
behind: Deadly infections increasingly
able to beat antibiotics.
Russell - Sunday, January 20, 2008
At a busy microbiology lab in San
Francisco, bad bugs are brewing inside vials of
human blood, or sprouting inside petri dishes, all
in preparation for a battery of tests.These tests
will tell doctors at UCSF Medical Center which
kinds of bacteria are infecting their patients,
and which antibiotics have the best chance to
knock those infections down.With disturbing
regularity, the list of available options is
short, and it is getting shorter.
Dr. Jeff Brooks has been director
of the UCSF lab for 29 years, and has watched with
a mixture of fascination and dread how bacteria
once tamed by antibiotics evolve rapidly into
forms that practically no drug can treat. "These
organisms are very small," he said, "but they are
still smarter than we are."
Among the most alarming of these
is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus, a bug that used to be confined to
vulnerable hospital patients, but now is infecting
otherwise healthy people in schools, gymnasiums
and the home. As MRSA continues its natural
evolution, even more drug-resistant strains are
emerging. The most aggressive of these is one
Last week, doctors at San
Francisco General Hospital reported that a variant
of that strain, resistant to six important
antibiotics normally used to treat staph,
may be transmitted by sexual contact and is
spreading among gay men in San Francisco, Boston,
New York and Los Angeles.
Yet the problem goes far beyond
one bug and a handful of drugs. Entire classes of
mainstay antibiotics are being threatened with
obsolescence, and bugs far more dangerous than
staph are evolving in ominous ways. "We are on the
verge of losing control of the situation,
particularly in the hospitals," said Dr. Chip
Chambers, chief of infectious disease at San
Francisco General Hospital.
reasons for increasing drug resistance are
* Overuse of antibiotics,
which speeds the natural evolution of
bacteria, promoting new mutant strains
resistant to those drugs.
* Careless prescribing of antibiotics that
aren't effective for the malady in question,
such as a viral infection.
* Patient demand for antibiotics when they
* Heavy use of antibiotics in poultry and
livestock feed, which can breed resistance to
similar drugs for people.
* Germ strains that interbreed at hospitals,
where infection controls as simple as
hand-washing are lax.
All this is
happening while the supply of new
antibiotics from drug company laboratories is
Since commercial production of
penicillin began in the 1940s, antibiotics have
been the miracle drugs of modern medicine,
suppressing infectious diseases that have
afflicted human beings for thousands of years. But
today, as a generation of Baby Boomers begins to
enter a phase of life marked by the ailments of
aging, we are running out of miracles.
Top infectious disease
doctors are saying that lawmakers and the
public at large do
not realize the grave implications of this
"Within just a few years, we could
be seeing that most of our microorganisms are
resistant to most of our antibiotics," said Dr.
Jack Edwards, chief of infectious diseases at
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
At Brooks' microbiology
laboratory, the evolutionary struggle of bacteria
versus antibiotics is on display every day. He
grabbed a clear plastic dish that grew golden-hued
MRSA germs taken from a patient a few days
earlier. Inside were seven paper dots, each
impregnated with a different drug. If the
antibiotic worked, the dot had a clear ring around
it - a zone where no germs could grow. No ring
meant the drug had failed. This test was typical.
Three drugs worked, four had failed.
The strategy for nearly 70 years
has been to stay a step ahead of resistance by
developing new antibiotics. In the past decade,
however, major drugmakers have been dropping out
of the field. The number of new antibiotics in
development has plummeted. During the
five-year period ended in 1987, the FDA licensed
16 novel antibiotics. In the most recent five-year
period, only five were approved.
For drugmakers, the economics
are simple: An antibiotic can cure an infection
in a matter of days. There is much more money in
finding drugs that must be taken for a lifetime.
Toll of antibiotic
With antibiotic research lagging,
the bugs are catching up, and infections are
taking a terrible toll. The federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 99,000 Americans die
of various bacterial infections that they pick
up while hospitalized - more than double the
number killed every year in automobile
Of the 1.7 million
hospital-acquired infections that occur each year,
studies show, 70 percent are resistant to at
least one antibiotic. Drug-resistant staph
is rapidly becoming a major public health menace.
Last fall, the CDC estimated that MRSA alone has
killed 19,000 Americans. Most of these patients
picked up the bug in the hospital, but it is now
spreading in urban and suburban neighborhoods
across the nation.
Peg McQueary's struggle to
"MRSA is killing people. It almost
killed me," said Peg McQueary, whose life was
upended when she nicked her leg with a razor three
years ago. Within days, her leg was grotesquely
swollen, red from foot to knee. Her husband
wheeled her into a Kaiser medical office, where
her doctor took one look and rushed her to an
isolation room. She was placed on intravenous
vancomycin, a drug reserved for the most serious
cases of MRSA. Since that frightening week, the
42-year-old Roseville woman has spent much of her
life in and out of hospitals, and she's learned
just how difficult these infections can be to
treat. McQueary has burned through drug after
drug, but the staph keeps coming back. She's been
hooked up at her home to bags of vancomycin and
swallowed doses of linezolid, clindamycin and a
half a dozen other antibiotics with barely
pronounceable names and limited effect.
One of the newest antibiotics,
intravenous daptomycin - approved by the Food and
Drug Administration in 2003 - seems to work the
best, but it has not prevented recurrences. "It's
just a struggle to do everyday things," she said.
"I am ready to scream about it." Today, she
moderates a Web site, MRSA Resources Support
Forum, swapping stories with other sufferers.
"Giving them a place to vent is some sort of
healing for me," she said.
McQueary's travails are becoming
an all-too-familiar American experience. As
bacteria evolve new ways to sidestep antibiotics,
doctors treating infections find themselves with a
dwindling list of options. Old-line drugs are
losing their punch, while the newer ones are both
costly and laden with side effects.
Drugs' weakening grip.
Dr. Joseph Guglielmo, chairman of
the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF,
closely tracks the effectiveness of dozens of
antibiotics against different infectious bacteria.
Laminated color-coded cards called antibiograms
are printed up for hospital physicians each year.
They chart the success rate of each antibiotic
against at least 12 major pathogens. These charts
show how antibiotics, like tires slowly leaking
air, are losing strength year by year.
As head of the hospital pharmacy,
Guglielmo oversees a small warehouse at the
medical center that stores millions of dollars
worth of prescription drugs that are used every
day to treat patients there. Strolling down the
aisles that houses bins of antibiotics, he reached
for a bottle of imipenem, and cradled the little
vial in the palm of his hand. "This one is the
last line of defense," he said.
Imipenem was approved by the FDA
in 1985. A powerful member of the carbapenem
family - the latest in a long line of
penicillin-like drugs - it is frequently used in
hospitals today because it can still defeat a wide
variety of germs that have outwitted the
earlier-generation antibiotics. But at a cost of
about $60 a day, and with a safety profile that
includes risk of seizure, it is a "Big Gun" drug
that must be used carefully. As soon as doctors
discover that a lesser antibiotic will work, they
will stop prescribing imipenem, like soldiers
conserving their last remaining stores of
Now, there are signs of
Imipenem has been the antibiotic
of choice for doctors treating Klebsiella, a
vigorous microbe that causes pneumonia in
hospitalized patients. But in June 2005, New York
City doctors reported in the journal Archives of
Internal Medicine outbreaks of imipenem-resistant
Klebsiella. Fifty-nine such cases were logged at
just two hospitals. The death rate among those
whose infections entered their bloodstreams was
47 percent. Last year, Israeli doctors
battled an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant
Klebsiella that has killed more than 400
Cipro's dramatic decline.
The antibiotic Cipro, approved by
the Food and Drug Administration in 1987, is
familiar to millions of Americans because it is
widely prescribed for pneumonia, urinary tract
infections and sexually transmitted diseases. It
was the drug used to treat victims of the anthrax
mailings that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.
Unlike most antibiotics, which
originated from natural toxins produced by
bacteria, Cipro came from tinkering with a
chemical compound used to fight malaria. The
German drug giant Bayer patented Cipro's active
ingredient in 1983, and it subsequently became the
most widely sold antibiotic in the world.
At hospitals across the country,
however, clinicians have witnessed a remarkable
drop-off in the utility of Cipro against more
commonly encountered germs. Antibiograms from the
UCSF lab highlight the alarming erosion: As
recently as 1999, Cipro was effective against 95
percent of specimens of E. coli - bacteria
responsible for the most common hospital-acquired
infections in the United States. By 2006, Cipro
would work against only 60 percent of samples
The bacterial evolution that has
so quickly sapped Cipro has also reduced the
effectiveness of the entire family of related
antibiotics called fluoroquinolones - drugs such
as Levaquin, Floxin, and Noroxin. "If there is
ever a group of drugs that has taken a beating, it
is these," said UCSF pharmacy chief Guglielmo.
Against Acinetobacter - a bug
responsible for rising numbers of bloodstream and
lung infections in intensive care units, as well
as among combat casualties in Iraq - Cipro's
effectiveness fell from 80 percent in 1999 to 10
percent just four years later. Cipro has
also lost ground against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a
common cause of pneumonia in hospitalized
patients. Nearly 80 percent of the bugs tested
were susceptible to Cipro in 1999. That fell to 65
percent by 2004.
At UCSF, doctors carefully monitor
the trends in drug resistance and modify their
prescribing patterns accordingly. As a result,
they have been able to nudge some of these
resistance levels down. Cipro's effectiveness
against Acinetobacter crept up to 40 percent last
year, for example, but the overall trend remains
Although MRSA infections have been
capturing headlines, bugs such as Acinetobacter,
Klebsiella and Pseudomonas are keeping doctors
awake at night. They come from a class of
pathogens called Gram-negative bacteria, which
typically have an extra layer of microbial skin to
ward off antibiotics, and internal pumps that
literally drive out antibiotics that penetrate.
Gram-negative infections have
always been difficult to treat, and few new drugs
are in development. Some researchers believe that
the pipeline for new antibiotics is drying up
because it is simply getting more difficult to
outwit the bugs. "It may be that we've
already found all the good antibiotics," warned
Chambers, San Francisco General Hospital's
infectious disease chief. "If that is so, then
we've really got to be careful how we use the ones
Terry Hazen, senior scientist at
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and director
of its ecology program, is not at all surprised by
the tenacity of our bacterial foes. "We are
talking about 3.5 billion years of evolution," he
said. "They are the dominant life on Earth."
Bacteria have invaded virtually
every ecological niche on the planet. Human
explorers of extreme environments such as deep
wells and mines are still finding new bacterial
species. "As you go deeper into the
subsurface, thousands and thousands of feet, you
find bacteria that have been isolated for millions
of years - and you find multiple antibiotic
resistance," Hazen said.In his view, when
bacteria develop resistance to modern antibiotics,
they are merely rolling out old tricks they
mastered eons ago in their struggle to live in
harsh environments in competition with similarly
Drug industry economics are also a
factor. "It takes a hell of a lot of effort to
find the next really good drug," said Steven
Projan, vice president of New Jersey
pharmaceutical giant Wyeth Inc. The costs of
bringing a new drug to market are hotly debated. A
Tufts University study estimated $802 million; the
consumer group Public Citizen pegs it at $110
million. Either way, the investment is huge.
By 1990, according to the
Infectious Diseases Society of America, half the
major drugmakers in Japan and the United States
had cut back or halted antibiotic research.
Since 2000, some of the biggest names in
pharmaceutical development - Roche,
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott Laboratories, Eli
Lilly, Aventis and Procter & Gamble - had
joined the exodus.
By common measures used to gauge
the profit potential of new drugs, antibiotics
fall way behind, Projan explained. For every $100
million that a new antibiotic might yield, after
projected revenue and expenses are tallied, a new
cancer drug will generate $300 million. A new drug
for arthritis, by this same analysis, brings in
$1.1 billion. Investors have been placing
their bets accordingly.
In 2002, Wyeth had sharply
curtailed its own antibiotic drug discovery
programs. "We tried to get out of the field, but
one of the reasons we did not get out altogether
is we feel we have a public responsibility to fund
more research," said Projan.
Wyeth's decision to keep some
antibiotic research alive eventually paid off. In
June 2005, the FDA licensed Tygacil, an
intravenous antibiotic for complicated skin
diseases such as drug-resistant staph infection.
Only one new antibiotic for oral or intravenous
use has won FDA approval since.
finger at doctors.
The waning of antibiotics in the
arsenal of modern medicine has been going on for
so long that some doctors fear a kind of
complacency has set in. Increasingly, the medical
profession is pointing a finger at itself.
"We have behaved very badly," said
Dr. Louis Rice, a Harvard-educated,
Columbia-trained specialist in infectious
diseases. "We have made a lot of stupid choices."
His words brought a nervous silence to thousands
of his colleagues, as he delivered a keynote
speech in 2006 for the American Society for
Microbiology's annual conference in San Francisco.
Rice, a professor at Cleveland's
Case Western Reserve University, said doctors and drug companies alike
are responsible for breeding resistance by "the
indiscriminate dumping of antibiotics into our
Drug-resistant germs contaminate
the bedrails, the catheter lines, the blood
pressure cuffs and even the unwashed hands of
doctors, nurses and orderlies. The germs keep
evolving, swapping drug-resistance traits with
other microbes. He likened American intensive-care
units - the high-tech enclaves where the most
seriously ill patients are treated - to "toxic
Drug companies, he said, have a
responsibility to refill the nation's depleted
medicine chest. He suggested that a tax - similar
to a Superfund tax placed on polluters to clean up
toxic waste sites - be imposed on companies that
have dropped antibiotic research. It would support
drugmakers that are still in the game. "Your
products that you've made billions and billions
and billions and billions of dollars on have
created this problem, and you can't just walk
away," he said.
Rice has stressed that the
existing arsenal of antibiotics should be used
wisely, and that often means sparingly. During a
half century of antibiotic use, he said, there is scant research on how
short a course of drugs is actually needed to
cure a patient. Instead, doctors routinely
prescribe a week to 10-day course of drugs
recommended by manufacturers. If patients are
taking antibiotics after their infections are
truly gone, they are creating conditions that
breed resistance. Indeed, a Dutch study showed
that one kind of pneumonia can be treated just as
successfully with three days of amoxicillin as
with the traditional eight.
Since drug companies cannot be
expected to spend money on research that could
trim sales of their products, federally funded
agencies such as the National Institutes of Health
should do the job, Rice said in a recent
He also took his own specialty to
task for failing to protect the most important
weapons its arsenal. Infectious disease experts at
hospitals must find the "backbone" to stop
other doctors from prescribing antibiotics
unnecessarily, Rice said. He argued they
should assert their authority to control
antibiotic usage, just as cancer specialists have
a say in which chemotherapy drugs are prescribed
by surgeons. And all health care professionals, he
added, "have to wash their damn hands." - www.sfgate.com
So how do we stay healthy?
Oxygenation - Cell
Detoxification - Hydration
Four machines for natural
Ancon Chi Machine - Far
Infrared Hothouse Sauna - Electro
Reflexology - E-Power
Detox has never been as important as
it is today,
order to combat what ever happens
Understand it - destroy it.