Saturday, February 10, 2007

A 'Reservoir of Resistance'

That's me, or more specifically, my mouth.

I recently took a round of Biaxin when the migrating virus from hell invited bacteria into my sinuses. As a result, Scottish investigators discovered, my residential bacteria may have developed resistance factors to this antibiotic that can persist for more than six months!

If these ungrateful bacteria who enjoy daily life in my respiratory passages share their resistance genes with any visiting bacteria, the invaders can shrug off Biaxin and set up camp in my airways.

Drug companies are responding with redoubled efforts to develop new antibiotics. This from chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier of GlaxoSmithKline:

Society needs more antibiotics. By the time we get through, we think there will be a story on the front pages of the newspapers about healthy people dying from resistant bugs and hospitals having to shut down their burns units and the like.

I'm unaware of burn units shutting down due to antibiotic resistance, but the part about healthy people dying from resistant drugs is already here.

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