Resistant microbes threaten global catastrophe

 In this handout photo provided by the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases an EHEC bacteria is visible. Credit: Getty Images
In this handout photo provided by the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases an EHEC bacteria is visible.
Credit: Getty Images

Mutant, drug-resistant bacteria could trigger a global health catastrophe that makes diseases untreatable within 20 years, the British Chief Medical Officer (CMO) said Monday.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a ticking time-bomb for the world,” CMO Dame Sally Davies said in her annual report. “We need to work with everyone to ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antimicrobial resistance does not become a reality.”

The report warns that bacteria will soon develop beyond antibiotic treatments, at which point any operation would become life-threatening as infection could not be controlled. Davies recommends that resistant bacteria be added to the National Risk Register along with threats such as terrorism, and claims it is “as important as climate change for the world”.

In Europe, over 25,000 people die each year resulting from resistant bacteria. That figure looks set to rise with powerful new strains of Tuberculosis and gut bacteria such as E Coli emerging.

In 2012, the World Health Organization described resistant bacteria as a “global public health emergency affecting all countries”, and experts agree that crisis is looming.

“Gut organisms could become so resistant that cancer treatment becomes impossible within a decade,” Dr Matthew Dryden, microbiologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, told Metro. “Antibiotics have been overused for 70 years and there are no more coming.”

The last class of antibiotics was produced in the 1980s, but research slowed as drug companies could make little profit on products with a short lifespan. “We need serious investment and a global response – we’re in an arms race with the bacteria,” said Society for General Microbiology President Nigel Brown.

The UK government will respond with a five-year plan which will address conservation of antibiotics and a global strategy within a month.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.