Fresh look at old remedies likely

More interest in alternative remedies is likely to feature in a post-antibiotic world, a University of Otago infectious diseases authority says.

Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases director Prof Kurt Krause said the antibiotic resistance problem had become urgent and decisions had to be made now to develop new antibiotics.

A major World Health Organisation report this week using data from 114 countries has concluded that without co-ordinated action, the world faces a post-antibiotic era.

It meant common infections and minor injuries that had been treatable could be deadly.

Renewed interest would also focus on treatments Western medicine abandoned in the antibiotic age, Prof Krause said.

This included topical treatments for infections and ''aggressive'' wound care management.

''I think it means we'll have to look at everything brand new. In this post-antibiotic era we'll be ... looking at things before antibiotics were on the scene.

''And I think it does suggest that preventive medicines and alternative medicines will all need to be looked at in a fresh way.''

It was not too late to develop new antibiotics and improve management of existing ones.

''It's something that as a society we have to come to grips with now and decide what it is we want to do.

''If we decide as a society antibiotics are a priority, we can make more antibiotics.

''Buried in all these dry figures there's a story, and the story is pharmaceutical agencies have pulled back from designing antibiotics, and funding agencies have pulled back from funding research on developing antibiotics,'' Prof Krause said.

Compounding the paucity of research and development, antibiotics had been poorly managed in clinical practice and overused in agriculture.

''Personally I think the time for using antibiotics in agriculture in a general or widespread sense has passed.''

New Zealand's antibiotic problem was not as severe as in other countries, but it could not afford to be complacent.

''While NZ has been fortunate to avoid the high levels of resistance seen in the most affected areas, it is important that ongoing surveillance continues for these organisms and that clear infection control policies and plans are in place.

''After all, even the most resistant of organisms are potentially only a plane trip away.''

- eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

 

Antibiotic research funding

From this article in 2011 it says theres 1000 times as much funding on AIDS research as antibiotic resistance research. This is despite the article stating there were about as many MRSA deaths as AIDS deaths in the US that year (19,000 vs 18,000). I think antibiotic resistance research should atleast match AIDS funding research since antibiotic resistance is going to be a much bigger problem than AIDS in the future. Also I believe antibiotic resistance is solvable. There is probably some animal or plant out there that has a novel way of resisting bacteria and only needs to be discovered.

 

since when does alt options mean no science?

Do people seriously think some alternative treatments are not backed by any science?  Black Seed Oil has over 250 studies on it (most showing powerful actions against placebo group), same goes for Triphala (over 450 studies on that).  Then there are options like megadoses of intraveneous vitamin C and how it interferes with bacteria/viruses, etc.  Not to mention foods and many strains of pro-biotic bacteria.  I'm all for science, but to toss out alt methods as not science backed is ignorant.

That's very alternative

Of course, you can look at alt remedies. You can also buy them retail. However, my own GP prefers the evidence of science. I doubt he would prescribe the likes of herbal antibiotic (lichen-based perhaps). These alts would need to be regulated and subsidised to be a medicine of choice.