We’re headed towards a ‘post-antibiotic era,’ World Health Organization warns PBS


May 1, 2014

In a report released Wednesday, the World Health Organization warned that society may soon be sliding into a “post-antibiotic era” in which common illnesses like pneumonia will once again become feared killers and surgery will come with heightened infection risks…

“Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods,” said Fukudam” “the implications will be devastating.


Two million are effected with drug resistant bacteria and 20,000 die from it.

On PBS, Frontline has be doing a bunch on this but no one ever mentions sexually transmitted diseases and their impact on antibiotics. :shrug:


That’s because people are irresponsible with the stuff. It gets improperly disposed of, and bacteria get exposed to it in the natural environment and eventually adapt.

We need a movement like the anti-CFC one we had a couple of decades ago, or this could get real ugly.


Even with responsible use, antibiotic use inevitably leads to the survival and increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Seems like we ought to be able to keep a step ahead of them by developing new antibiotics, but it would still be a never ending chase.

Not only that but new antibiotics are seldom developed my major drug companies any more. It’s not cost effective. A new drug costs maybe $500M to $1Billion to develop, test and bring to market. But antibiotics, if used properly, are not every day drugs, so they can’t always make a return on investment, whereas something like a Lipitor can be used every day of a patient’s life.

Might be a good governmental project, and a more immediate need that reducing CO2.


Because the mode of transmission is not specifically relevant to the fact that resistance exists.


That’s just one aspect of antibiotic resistance. Old ladies who hoard their antibiotics once they start feeling better, and young moms who do the same once their children start feeling better, are just as much “to blame” for the development of antibiotic resistance as sexually-loose individuals.

I have worked in a microbiology lab for almost 30 years now, so I see the resistant bacteria “up close and personal” on a daily basis. Very, very scary. It’s my opinion that Pres. Obama would do well to forget about the “global warming crisis” and take up championing the cause of rapidly-developing antibiotic resistance. There’s a good chance that my husband and/or I will die because there won’t be an antibiotic capable of killing whatever bacteria causes our “Final Infection.” What a way to go. Keep in mind that until antibiotics came along, many people, especially children, routinely died of strep throat and urinary tract infections. So scary.


Why would someone hoard their antibiotics? Would they not just get another prescription if they needed it?

I don’t even think we could name all the sexually transmitted diseases today.

Some facts from World Health Organization…

More than 1 million people acquire a sexually transmitted infection (STI) every day.
Each year, an estimated 500 million people become ill with one of 4 STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.
More than 530 million people have the virus that causes genital herpes (HSV2).
More than 290 million women have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
The majority of STIs are present without symptoms.
Some STIs can increase the risk of HIV acquisition three-fold or more.
STIs can have serious consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself, through mother-to-child transmission of infections and chronic diseases.
Drug resistance, especially for gonorrhoea, is a major threat to reducing the impact of STIs worldwide.



=gam197;11978046 Why would someone hoard their antibiotics? Would they not just get another prescription if they needed it?

Many people take only enough of their antibiotics to feel better and then keep the rest for the next time they get sick so they don’t have to go the doctor, be examined, get more lab testing, and then fill a prescription. It’s an expense and a time-consumer that they want to avoid, so they just keep the antibiotics on hand.

Would you believe…I speak the truth!..that my microbiology supervisor does this?!! Yes! It’s very common.

Another reason why people don’t take all of their antibiotics is that some antibiotics give people very unpleasant G.I. side effects: nausea, diarrhea, sore anal area. So they just stop taking the antibiotic; usually they feel better after a few doses anyway, and decide that it’s just not worth feeling so sick to their stomach. Often they will keep the antibiotic, and then get it out the next time they have a respiratory illness/cold.

I don’t even think we could name all the sexually transmitted diseases today.

Some facts from World Health Organization…


Most of the STDs listed are not bacterial, but viral, and antibiotics are not used in their treatment. This means that these viral diseases have no part in influencing the increasing resistance of bacteria.

As far as I have heard, trichomonas and syphilis still respond well to antibiotics. I have not heard of any resistance of these two organisms. The bad boy is gonorrhea. Doctors don’t even try to treat it with the 1st generation antibiotics anymore because so many of the strains of GC are resistant.

I’m not trying to be contrary to you. I’m only trying to persuade you not to turn the antibiotic resistance issue into a “sin” issue. This is not caused by sexually-promiscuous people, although they are contributing. Antibiotic resistance is something that many people contribute to.

Doctors have mis-used antibiotics over the years and continue to misuse them; just last week, I had a “discussion” with a urologist who was insisting on treating an obvious skin contaminant that showed up in a patient’s blood culture. He’s got a lot of clout in the hospital system, and I had to be careful in what I said. I at least got him to agree to consult with the infectious disease doctors. But if he decided that I was being “insubordinate,” he could have me fired.

It’s strange. Although many Staph. aureus are also MRSA (extremely resistant to antibiotics), as of yet, the very very bad bacteria, Strep pyogenes (the cause of strep throat) has still not developed any resistance to penicillin. If it ever did, we would be goners! There are many people who can’t take penicillin due to allergies, but the bacteria can be treated easily with other antibiotics. On the other hand, the flesh-eating strain of Strep pyo moves so fast that unless it’s diagnosed right away, it’s often too late. It’s a very very bad bug!


Learning a lot here. Thanks for the information. So you should never save antibiotics, is that correct?

If you have left overs, how should you dispose of antibiotics?

I am reading on line that you should never throw any medication down the toilet but wrap in coffee grounds and throw out?

I know occasionally they have medicine drop off day at the police station?


You shouldn’t have leftover antibiotics. You are supposed to finish out the prescription - that’s the point that is being made. If you don’t finish the prescription, you are contributing to the problem of encouraging the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Sometimes when doctors prescribe, they tell you to take for 5 days. You take the required amount for 5 days and have still have left over medication - maybe not much but still left over. Should you keep taking until all of the medication is gone even though a doctor told you only to take so long?

I guess that is what you are saying, just keep taking until all gone.:slight_smile:

If someone does save the medication and then uses it again taken all of it, what difference does that make?


I almost died from Streptococcus pneumonia, and the antibiotics given to me were not enough because I was in the latter stages of my infection, i.e., the bacteria had turned into a thick pus, I had to do what I believe is called a decortication or a thoracotomy (a surgery that removes the pus and the pleural peel).


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