Quote of the Day: The End of Antibiotics?

| Fri Aug. 13, 2010 9:03 AM PDT

From Cardiff University professor Tim Walsh on the spread of a newly discovered gene called NDM 1 that makes a wide variety of bacteria antibiotic-resistant:

In many ways, this is it. This is potentially the end. There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.

That's from the Guardian, which reports that if the worst happens and we fail to find replacement antibiotics, transplant surgery will become virtually impossible, removing a burst appendix becomes a dangerous operation once again, pneumonia and tuberculosis come roaring back qas killers, and gonorrhea becomes hard to treat.

But then again, maybe we'll find some replacements. All those gene sequencing breakthroughs we've been hearing about have to be good for something, don't they?

(Via James Joyner.)

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