Researchers are looking to old drugs, plants and viruses in a race to find new ways to kill disease-causing microbes before they become resistant to all existing pharmaceuticals, but their work will flounder if the federal government can’t figure out how to incentive companies to turn their work into commercially viable drugs. Continue reading
Since antibiotics were widely introduced in the mid 1940’s, scientists warned of microbes’ innate ability to evolve and develop resistance. People were cautioned to be judicious with antimicrobials, because overuse could breed “superbugs,” germs resistant to most or all antibiotics.
Indeed, microbes have developed resistance to virtually every new class of antibiotics introduced. Up until the 1980s, however, most pharmaceutical companies kept developing new antibiotics. When a drug developed resistance, there was a new one in the development pipeline that could take its place. Continue reading
In early October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Paratek Pharmaceuticals’ new antibiotic Nuzyra, which kills bacteria associated with skin and lung infections.
The approval was notable because there are so few new antibiotics coming onto the market, , says journalist Maryn McKenna in Wired magazine, largely because most drug companies don’t think antibiotics — which have wiped out the threat of many infectious diseases — to be worth the investment.
The problem is a unique business and policy dilemma for society. Continue reading
Looking for a local angle to cover antibiotic resistance?
Reporters can find potential stories by looking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s newly released antibiotic resistance investment map which provides details on superbug cases in states and CDC efforts to contain their spread. Continue reading
The latest news about the arrival in the U.S. of a deeply concerning “superbug” justifiably injected alarm into the headlines recently.
It was not actually a new bacteria that arrived but the “dreaded gene mcr-1,” a mutation which “confers protection against colistin, the last remaining antibiotic that works against a broad family of bacteria that have already acquired resistance to all the other antibiotics used against them,” as AHCJ board member Maryn McKenna described in her piece at her Germination blog at National Geographic. Continue reading