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As much as public health officials have tried to slow the progress of antibiotic resistance, the pace has not slowed.
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Some countries are finding cases of the infection that are untreatable by all known antibiotics.
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Several different bacterial and fungal species can be found in cheese and their interactions can be monitored.
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A need exists for rapid change in the social mindset of the next generation on antibiotics. If our youth do not appreciate the challenges facing public health officials today, they may end up living under the shadow of untreatable bacterial infections known as the post-antibiotic era.
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Over the last few years, the human body's microbial population has been the subject of numerous discussions and controversies. But few topics have sparked as much interest as the concept of fecal microbiota transplantation, or FMT. This rather easy procedure has become a lightning rod for debates ranging from its effectiveness to ethical issues regarding donations.
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We are facing an antibiotic resistance crisis. Almost every health authority has sounded the alarm and the most recognized authority, the World Health Organization, is doing all it can to slow the arrival of the post-antibiotic era. Yet, even as these calls are made, the use of these drugs continues to be unacceptably high.
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At its core, antibiotic resistance is merely a coping mechanism. Bacteria are faced with a rather dire form of stress and need to find a way to cope. They can take the biological route of genetic mutation to render the drug useless. They also can gain a plasmid from the environment or another bacterium, to gain resistance mechanisms.
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"We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough."
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Though infections can affect almost any area of the body, on average, about half of the troubles are gastrointestinal, usually in the form of traveller's diarrhea. While this condition usually is not life-threatening, the symptoms certainly can ruin a vacation. Thankfully, most of these troubles are caused by bacteria and can be treated with a simple antibiotic prescription. Within a few days, the pain and those runs fade away allowing individuals to continue enjoying their trip.
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Lice are an unfortunate part of human existence. These small ectoparasites find their way into the hair and then make a home where they can eat, grow, and reproduce. They are common worldwide and as any parent knows, symptoms are frustrating and treatment is arduous and at times ineffective.
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The concept of tolerance isn't relevant only in the microbial world. All biological life has the ability to tolerate, including humans. A perfect example of this phenomenon occurs in those able to eat hot, spicy foods. You might think they are simply born with stronger tongues. But that isn't the case. Instead, in most cases, a biochemical modification has occurred in one of the proteins found on the tongue.
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It's no secret we are in an antibiotic resistance crisis. Warnings about the looming post-antibiotic era are everywhere and people are being asked to help in whatever way they can. Yet, while we can all work to reduce the amount of antibiotics used in medicine, these achievements represent only a small fraction of the work that needs to be done.
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The mere mention of nanotechnology may raise eyebrows. Yet worries should not be based on size but molecular composition instead. If a particle is made from plastic or heavy metals, concern is definitely valid. However, polylactic acid nanoparticles are biodegradable, making them perfect for use both in the environment and also in the body.
A few months ago, the discovery of the antibiotic resistance gene mcr-1 sent shockwaves through the public and the health communities. This piece of bacterial DNA, also known as plasmid-mediated colistin resistance, revealed bacteria had developed a mechanism to tolerate yet another antibiotic.