AP looks at drug resistance worldwide

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Associated Press has neatly wrapped up its wide-ranging look at drug resistance and the threat it poses to global health into a flash-based multimedia presentation. The presentation consists of stories, infographics, videos and a photo/audio slideshow.

The two videos explain drug-resistant strains of various infectious diseases. The first looks at the wide availability of powerful antibiotics without guidance or prescription, addresses the problem as it has emerged both in the United States and in locales like Mexico and the Philippines. The second, which is about the use of antibiotics in large-scale livestock operations, relies on just one source, Dr. Craig Rowles of Elite Pork Partnership.

The AP uses infographics to establish the spread and scope of the problem, relying heavily on various world maps. I particularly like the timeline that accompanies the malaria graphic (click “statistics” in the upper right, then “malaria”); it shows the span of time from when each malaria-fighting drug was introduced to the date at which a resistant strain emerged.

Finally, they drive the problem home with three strong anecdotes, including a Southeast Asian boy with drug-resistant malaria, a man fighting the drug-resistant tuberculosis that killed his HIV-positive partner, and a woman who lost an infant daughter to MRSA.

Stories in the series:

The package is accompanied by this video.


1 thought on “AP looks at drug resistance worldwide

  1. Marya

    The AP video on MRSA is woefully one-sided and incomplete. Assuring that pigs do not have antibiotics in them (by the way, how is that tested? blood only or tissues as well?) is not be-all and end-all. The report should really look at the literature and talk to someone at the Union of Concerned Scientists or APUA, and take the time to examine the Pew report that came out a year or two ago on the subject of antibiotics at CAFOs. Finally, MRSA is not the only or even the biggest threat that we face, as C difficile overtakes MRSA in that role.

    It is naïve and disingenuous to think that we can just use antibiotics in these inhumane operations and not pay the price with human health effects.

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