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Looks like bacteria will get us before global warming has a chance...


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#1 drdredel

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:12 PM

http://www.wired.com...013/11/end-abx/
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#2 gmat

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:25 PM

As Puddy once said to Elaine: "It's gonna be rough."

Time to thin out the herd anyway.

#3 Practical Girl

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:07 PM

Drug-resistant bacteria has always been a concern, made a bit more realistic by a society obsessed with antibacterial products. This isn't just about soaps and sprays and cleaners, although that's been a part of it. These days, antibacterial material is everywhere. All those anti-gingivitis toothpastes and mouthwashes contain antimicrobial chemicals, too. That's how they "work". And getting into the kitchen? Certain cookware manufacturers build Triclosan, an antimicrobial, into their products, just like some of the toothpastes, soaps etc that one commonly uses. And countertops? Solid surfacing is very "in" these days, especially within modern design. Silestone, one of the most popular quartz and epoxy solid surface products, brags about being the only manufacturer to include Microban in its formula. Microban, of course, is an antimicrobial, once that is relatively secretive about what, exactly, is included in it. Triclosan is confirmed but what else? Who knows.

The uber-emphasis on "bacteria is bad" for the last 20-25 years was bound to have the effect of building stronger strains of bacteria. It's something that I rejected- hard- as a new mother. Every other commercial, ad and even pieces of advice from friends and relatives seemed to tout the absolute need for these products, if I wanted my child to avoid getting sick from bacteria. It was completely counterintuitive advice, to me. Bacteria has always been around. Kids and homes have been covered in it forever, and those same kids have been sucking on their bacterial-laden fingers forever, too, yet somehow? We grew up without dying of bacteria. But in the future? If bacterial infections "get us", we'll have only ourselves, our susceptibility to the chemical companies' propaganda and need to place their products and our paranoia to blame.
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--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


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#4 drdredel

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:02 PM

View PostPractical Girl, on 25 November 2013 - 12:07 PM, said:

Drug-resistant bacteria has always been a concern, made a bit more realistic by a society obsessed with antibacterial products. This isn't just about soaps and sprays and cleaners, although that's been a part of it. These days, antibacterial material is everywhere. All those anti-gingivitis toothpastes and mouthwashes contain antimicrobial chemicals, too. That's how they "work". And getting into the kitchen? Certain cookware manufacturers build Triclosan, an antimicrobial, into their products, just like some of the toothpastes, soaps etc that one commonly uses. And countertops? Solid surfacing is very "in" these days, especially within modern design. Silestone, one of the most popular quartz and epoxy solid surface products, brags about being the only manufacturer to include Microban in its formula. Microban, of course, is an antimicrobial, once that is relatively secretive about what, exactly, is included in it. Triclosan is confirmed but what else? Who knows.

The uber-emphasis on "bacteria is bad" for the last 20-25 years was bound to have the effect of building stronger strains of bacteria. It's something that I rejected- hard- as a new mother. Every other commercial, ad and even pieces of advice from friends and relatives seemed to tout the absolute need for these products, if I wanted my child to avoid getting sick from bacteria. It was completely counterintuitive advice, to me. Bacteria has always been around. Kids and homes have been covered in it forever, and those same kids have been sucking on their bacterial-laden fingers forever, too, yet somehow? We grew up without dying of bacteria. But in the future? If bacterial infections "get us", we'll have only ourselves, our susceptibility to the chemical companies' propaganda and need to place their products and our paranoia to blame.

Yeah, but if you read that article (and assuming it's accurate) it seems we are dramatically under-focusing on this problem, and by the time it's too late, it really will be *too late.
The Blind have lost their sense of "sight";
The Deaf have lost their sense of "hearing";
Republicans have lost their sense of "common".

#5 Practical Girl

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:05 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 25 November 2013 - 10:02 PM, said:

Yeah, but if you read that article (and assuming it's accurate) it seems we are dramatically under-focusing on this problem, and by the time it's too late, it really will be *too late.

Shee-it kiddo. I've been too late for 30 years, Bummer for us all.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"

--- "Write hard and clear about what hurts"
Ernest Hemingway

#6 Traveler

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 08:42 AM

Triclosan is so common that it is used as a marker for human contamination of runoff (sewage overflows). I believe most is eliminated in wastewater treatment. My big worry is the use in livestock operations. Tons of antibiotics are used, and there is a significant linkage with resistance.
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#7 Practical Girl

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 11:57 AM

View PostTraveler, on 14 December 2013 - 08:42 AM, said:

Triclosan is so common that it is used as a marker for human contamination of runoff (sewage overflows). I believe most is eliminated in wastewater treatment. My big worry is the use in livestock operations. Tons of antibiotics are used, and there is a significant linkage with resistance.

I don't have a particular bug for Triclosan, alone, but I do see some of the same conditions within livestock herds and humans when it comes to the overuse/abuse of antibiotics. In addition to being ubiquitous in our products, a serious problem is how antibiotics are dispensed, medically. It's extremely common for parents to seek- and doctors to give- antibiotics for children suffering obvious symptoms of the common cold. Colds are viral, of course, and antibiotics do very little if there is no infection. In a large majority of cases (I've lost the studies, but a couple really comprehensive ones '90s- 2000s), they're used as appeasement of administrators to get the child back into school/day care and get Mommy/Daddy back to work. In most cases, no bacterial infection is either tested for nor confirmed. Parents learn very quickly if their pediatrician is "one of those", and come in saying "green mucus", even when it's not present, to get what they need to get their week back on track.

Just like livestock, humans have been misusing antibiotics as "lifestyle", rather than treatment, drugs. It was always bound to create conditions for drug resistant bacteria and more serious infections in humans, especially children and the elderly. Some of that has already happened.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"

--- "Write hard and clear about what hurts"
Ernest Hemingway

#8 LFC

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 12:00 PM

Here's a different outcome from the unintended consequences of widespread use of drugs in livestock. Over in India, they were giving an anti-inflammatory drug to cows to keep them alive longer. That was all well and good, except that it turned out that miniscule amounts were highly toxic to vultures. In probably no more than a decade or so, they wiped out the vast majority of their vultures. So what's the big deal? After all, vultures are uckin' fugly and all that. Well, vultures also eat dead things ... like dead cows. And in rural India, dead people. With the vultures gone, there was no cleanup brigade. That left a lot more food for insects. And that increased disease in humans. So people who had a personal need to keep their cattle alive longer were killing their neighbors. Aaaaah, the law of unintended consequences.
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#9 J-CA

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:01 PM

View PostLFC, on 14 December 2013 - 12:00 PM, said:

Here's a different outcome from the unintended consequences of widespread use of drugs in livestock. Over in India, they were giving an anti-inflammatory drug to cows to keep them alive longer. That was all well and good, except that it turned out that miniscule amounts were highly toxic to vultures...
Reminds me of the problems of buckshot and the California Condor. Many died from lead poisoning after eating game that was shot, it builds up in their system.
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#10 LFC

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:48 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 15 December 2013 - 02:01 PM, said:

Reminds me of the problems of buckshot and the California Condor. Many died from lead poisoning after eating game that was shot, it builds up in their system.

It's worse than death due to buildup. They can be poisoned by a single heavy caliber bullet. And since a clean shot on a large game animal will generally be put into it's heart or lungs, you end up with a pile of tasty entrails (for a condor, anyway) that has just this kind of bullet buried inside.

Back in the 1980s I went and saw 6 of the remaining 17 wild California Condors before they were all trapped and taken into captivity. They've been releasing them again, but the environment just may be too hazardous to ever get a stable wild population again.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#11 J-CA

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:36 PM

View PostLFC, on 16 December 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:

Back in the 1980s I went and saw 6 of the remaining 17 wild California Condors before they were all trapped and taken into captivity. They've been releasing them again, but the environment just may be too hazardous to ever get a stable wild population again.
Thanks for the tip on the lead poisoning, I realize now how I was misinterpreting the biology of how they were being poisoned, seems obvious now that it clicked.
Since their range was shrinking for thousands of years it is quite possible that they were on the way out anyway, sad as that may be.
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#12 nuser

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:01 PM

View PostPractical Girl, on 14 December 2013 - 11:57 AM, said:

I don't have a particular bug for Triclosan, alone, but I do see some of the same conditions within livestock herds and humans when it comes to the overuse/abuse of antibiotics. In addition to being ubiquitous in our products, a serious problem is how antibiotics are dispensed, medically. It's extremely common for parents to seek- and doctors to give- antibiotics for children suffering obvious symptoms of the common cold. Colds are viral, of course, and antibiotics do very little if there is no infection. In a large majority of cases (I've lost the studies, but a couple really comprehensive ones '90s- 2000s), they're used as appeasement of administrators to get the child back into school/day care and get Mommy/Daddy back to work. In most cases, no bacterial infection is either tested for nor confirmed. Parents learn very quickly if their pediatrician is "one of those", and come in saying "green mucus", even when it's not present, to get what they need to get their week back on track. Just like livestock, humans have been misusing antibiotics as "lifestyle", rather than treatment, drugs. It was always bound to create conditions for drug resistant bacteria and more serious infections in humans, especially children and the elderly. Some of that has already happened.
..... humans have been misusing,,,, they had some help (doctors) did they not ? I recall commercials saying , had a hard day Dear ?(the victim sitting by the pool) put your feet up and take a couple of aspirins or whatever.

#13 cmk

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:40 AM

View Postnuser, on 16 December 2013 - 11:01 PM, said:

..... humans have been misusing,,,, they had some help (doctors) did they not ? I recall commercials saying , had a hard day Dear ?(the victim sitting by the pool) put your feet up and take a couple of aspirins or whatever.

I read this three times and can't make any sense of it. Can you please take a few moments and express yourself more clearly so others can understand you? Thanks.
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#14 Raskolnik

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:48 AM

I think nuser meant something like:

Humans have been misusing antibiotics for some time... though they had some help (from overprescribing doctors), did they not? I recall a commercial with a woman by a pool, where the voiceover said, "Had a hard day? Take some pills."

[Let it never be said that interpreting arcane 12th century manuscripts has no real-world applications!]

#15 Sinan

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:54 AM

I saw this incredible gif yesterday that seems appropriate for this discussion. Just in case you were wondering what bacteria looks like, check this out.

http://www.democrati...com/10024182539
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#16 LFC

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:48 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 16 December 2013 - 10:36 PM, said:

Thanks for the tip on the lead poisoning, I realize now how I was misinterpreting the biology of how they were being poisoned, seems obvious now that it clicked. Since their range was shrinking for thousands of years it is quite possible that they were on the way out anyway, sad as that may be.

Lead can be fatal to birds pretty quickly. It was why they made it illegal to use lead shot for waterfowl way back in 1991. It turned out that there was enough lead shot in the bottom of the ponds, lakes, etc. where people hunt that ducks were picking it up and it was killing them. Waterfowl shot is now made out of bismuth, steel, and various alloys. All of these are classified as "non-toxic shot".

In ref to your comment about the condors being on their way out, people have hypothesized that they were in their glory days when North America was covered in massive mammals and there was plenty to eat. After the mammoths were gone (possibly due to overhunting by early people), the bison were gone (definite overhunting), and the elk were hammered (also overhunting), their feeding opportunities became more and more limited. It's sad but they appear to be holding on by their wingtips in an environment that they're not really built for.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#17 LFC

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:00 PM

Sullivan provides a link to an article on the proposed FDA ban of antibacterial soaps, in particular those that use a chemical called "triclosan".

http://www.motherjon...e-soap-bacteria

The method being developed by bacteria in response to triclosan may make them immune to other antibiotics since it is not a chemical specific defense mechanism.

Quote

Not only that, but there is strong evidence that anti-bacterial soaps contribute to antibiotic resistance. In 2004, a team of University of Michigan researchers found that exposing bacteria to triclosan increased activity in cellular pumps that the bugs use to eliminate foreign substances. These overactive excretory systems "could act to pump out other antibiotics, as well," says Stuart Levy, one of the study's authors and a leading researcher on antibiotic resistance at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#18 Central TX Mom

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:34 PM

This is why my house is a disaster. I want to raise strong, healthy kids. Cleaning too much will just make them weak.

#19 LFC

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:11 PM

Remember this name; Acinetobacter baumannii. It's a seriously bad drug-resistant and highly adaptable bacteria.

Quote

I vaguely recalled streaking A.baumannii on petri plates when I was in college back in the 1980s. It was considered relatively harmless then, not requiring any special handling other than a lab coat and gloves. Since then, it had earned the nickname ‘Iraqibacter’ because it had hitchhiked on the military’s evacuation system from the Middle East, infiltrating hospitals in Europe and the US along the way. Many vets survived their injuries, only to succumb to Iraqibacter. Over the last few decades, A.baumannii has become a bacterial kleptomaniac, adept at stealing antibiotic-resistance genes from other bacteria, earning the dubious distinction of being public enemy No. 1 on the World Health Organization’s list of the deadliest superbugs. Since its sticky ‘fingers’ cling to lab coats, hospital linens and medical equipment, A.baumannii is a medical menace, having been implicated in several outbreaks that closed down hospitals. To propagate itself, it has not only succeeded in manipulating the microbial world, but an entire health-care system. In Germany, any time it turns up, doctors are required to report it to the country’s health authorities.

Tom’s A.baumannii strain initially showed resistance to 15 antibiotics. While this was bad news, I had faith in modern medicine. Surely one of the three remaining antibiotics in the quiver of modern medicine would rescue Tom, right? Not so fast. One of these antibiotics was colistin. It wasn’t exactly a modern miracle drug, having been developed in World War II, and it was extremely toxic. Apart from its use in medicine, colistin was fed to livestock in many countries as a growth promoter. Feeding animals the same antibiotics that are used to treat people turned out to be a bad idea. Around the time Tom fell ill in Egypt, the first report of a gene conferring resistance to colistin was reported among pigs in China. In the blink of an eye, the colistin resistance gene had spread to 30 countries. And to Tom. By the time Tom arrived by air ambulance at our local hospital at UC San Diego, his A.baumannii isolate had acquired it, along with 50 other antibiotic resistance genes.

Unlike Germany, however, there were no reporting requirements for A.baumannii in California, nor were there in most U.S. states. The same was (and remains) true for other superbugs, with the exception of MRSA, which U.S. hospitals are now required to report. This means that for most superbugs, health departments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don’t track who acquires them, nor do they know how many recovered or died. The most recent CDC report estimates that 23,000 people die in the U.S. each year from superbug infections, based on data from 2010. But a recent report estimated that at least 153,000 people died from superbug infections the same year, an estimate that is nearly seven-fold higher. We are allowing most superbugs to maintain their invisibility under the radar, where they are spreading quietly. Unreported. Undetected. And, increasingly, untreatable.

The notion that we can beat the burgeoning superbug crisis with the existing antibiotic pipeline is a pipette dream. Antibiotics take at least a decade to develop. Seeing diminished returns on their investment, only four major pharmas continue to develop new ones.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#20 Bact PhD

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 04:11 PM

Like the author of the piece, my recollection of A. baumannii was that of a “mostly harmless” bug.

What a difference a couple of decades makes. To get somewhat up to speed, I pulled up a review article from 2012 and found the following gem:

Quote

This phenomenon of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens has increasingly become a cause for serious concern with regard to both nosocomial and community-acquired infections.5 Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently identified antimicrobial resistance as one of the three most important problems facing human health.6 The most common and serious MDR pathogens have been encompassed within the acronym “ESKAPE,” standing for Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp.7

https://www.ncbi.nlm...#__ffn_sectitle

(I’ll edit this once I get to a laptop)
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