Tagged With antibiotic resistance

In 2016, a mysterious illness spread inside the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center, the U.S. government’s most prominent research hospital, in Bethesda, Maryland. Patients were somehow being sickened by an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria that practically never causes disease in humans. Two years later, a new study seems to finally have confirmed where this bug likely came from: the hospital’s own plumbing.

For all the good that antibiotics do, relying on them too much can have pretty drastic drawbacks. In particular, their overuse can help create bacterial superbugs resistant to future antibiotics. But a new study published this week in JAMA Psychiatry suggests there's another, more subtle consequence of antibiotic use, at least in young people: a higher risk of developing serious mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

No place is safe from the scourge of superbugs, a new study suggests, not even space. According to the study, samples of bacteria resistant to several antibiotics have been found on the International Space Station (ISS). And while the bacteria may not have made any astronauts sick, the authors say it’s pretty likely that they can.

One of the few bastions of purity left in this forsaken world—puppies—might be inadvertently spreading a bacterial superbug that causes diarrhoea. Last week, the Centres for Disease and Prevention in the U.S. reported that an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni has sickened more than 100 people across 18 states in the past two years. And most of these victims had recently come into contact with a pet store puppy.

A common antidepressant, sold under the brand name Prozac, could be helping some bacteria build resistance to antibiotics, suggests a new study from Australia. The study, published in Environment International, found that fluoxetine was capable of inducing antibiotic resistance in laboratory strains of Escherichia coli.

The bacteria that cause urinary tract infections are not only becoming more resistant to antibiotics, suggests a recent study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, but they’re starting to spread outside of hospitals. Even worse than that, doctors might be losing their ability to predict when someone has a superbug, raising the chances of treating them with useless drugs that will further promote resistance.

Bacteria are steadily winning the war against even our strongest antibiotics, stoking fears of a future that resembles Victorian-era England in all the worst ways. A new study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine is sure to add to this existential terror: It suggests that at least some hospital-spread bugs are also starting to fend off alcohol-based disinfectants.

Much like climate change, the growing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial superbugs is a ticking time bomb that threatens our very way of life. It’s also a very expensive problem to tackle, and Big Pharma has struggled to find any promising solutions. Yesterday, yet another major pharmaceutical — the Swiss-based Novartis — announced it is dropping out of the antibiotics game.

In an age when bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to our best antibiotics and the words "E. coli" can shut down your favourite local Chipotle, people are desperate for anything that promises to wipe out germs. Unfortunately, when it comes to cleaning products that label themselves "antimicrobial," they're largely a pile of overpriced trash. Not only do they not work better than soap and water, but there's growing evidence that they might make bacteria even harder to kill, by speeding along antibiotic resistance.

When an outbreak occurs, in order to effectively figure out how to stop it, researchers typically try to figure out how it started. The answer to that question, though, can be elusive. And as so-called superbug infections have spread across the country's hospitals, scientists and public health officials have subsequently struggled to understand how these pathogens spread.

In recent years, superbugs have become one of the biggest threats to modern human health. At present, the CDC estimates that some 23,000 people die every year from multidrug-resistant infections in the United States. The threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to global health is big enough that this year the World Health Organisation for the first time published a list of the 12 superbugs that pose the greatest threat to humans.

The agricultural industry has long been considered an enemy of humanity when it comes to recklessly pumping antibiotics into animals. In further evidence that this practice is fuelling a public health crisis, a new study has found a disconcerting trend at Chinese farms: Flies are spreading the gene that gives bacteria resistance to our strongest antibiotics, and it's showing up in hospitalised humans.