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A World without Antibiotics?

As drug resistance spreads, once-treatable infections are becoming more and more deadly. Quick action might be needed to preserve the lifesaving potency of antibiotics for future generations.

Photo Credit: Science Source

When Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming came into his laboratory on the morning of September 28, 1928, and noticed that mold growing in a forgotten petri dish was repelling a culture of staphylococcus bacteria, it was the beginning of a new era of antibiotics. Within a decade, the drug he’d named penicillin was being used to cure eye infections in infants, and by World War II, it was saving lives on a massive scale.But with bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics at a faster and faster rate, and a shortage of new drugs in development, we’re now facing a “post-antibiotic era,” warns Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What does that mean? Common infections that, a generation ago, could be cured with a short course of medication will once again become untreatable and potentially fatal. And with antibiotics playing a critical role in many medical procedures, losing them as a resource could jeopardize our ability to save lives with treatments such as chemotherapy and organ transplants.“We are going to reach a point where resistance develops to every antibiotic we …

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