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How does resistance occur?

  • Resistance in bacteria begins as a genetic change.
  • Genes are then transferred from one bacterium to another.
  • Bacterium move from one host to another, carrying their resistance with them.
  • Resistance is increased not just by the over-prescribing of antibiotics for suspected cases of strep throat, acne and UTIs but it is also used without prescription by farmers and ranchers as a standard treatment for food animals.
  • When the bacterium reaches a host with a compromised and dysregulated immunity, the bacterium can flourish and reproduce its genetic resistance.
Hospitals have become hotbeds for highly-resistant pathogens, increasing the risk that hospitalization kills instead of cures.
— Address by the World Health Organization, 2012.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Antibiotics have been used in the treatment of bacterial infection since the late 1930's.  In 1969 the US Surgeon General stated that it was time to "close the books on infectious diseases." 

By 1999 microbial resistance had developed against all known antibiotics in use.

Now we are struggling against "super-bugs" that have developed resistance to treatment.  Resistance has occurred in most malaria-endemic countries to anti-malarial medications.  440,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are identified annually resulting in 150,000 deaths in 64 countries.  MRSA has become a pandemic affecting thousands of patients and is a leading cause of infection in hospitals. In the US, more than 18.000 people die each year from MRSA and up to 30,000 from antibiotic-resistant Clostridium.

Drug companies develop new drugs for profit.  This means that they are more willing to develop a new cholesterol drug that can be prescribed to people for life to a drug that is only administered for 10 days. 

Profit determines the effectiveness of our medical care.

With the loss of Barrier and Innate immunity we are losing the battle against infection.  Only by supporting these key components of our immune system can we be assured of health.

While concerns about antibiotics focus on bacterial resistance, the permanent changes in our protective flora could have more serious consequences. Our friendly flora sometimes never fully recover from a course of antibiotics. Each generation could be beginning life with a smaller endowment of ancient microbes than the last.
— Prof. Martin Blaser, Nature Magazine, 2011