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Six Deadly Bugs

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The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has released a list of infectious microbes that are increasingly resistant to most antibiotics and other drugs

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has released a list of infectious microbes that are increasingly resistant to most antibiotics and other drugs. The six superbugs:

  1. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can cause severe illness and death.
  2. Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae cause urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, and wound infections.
  3. Acinetobacter baumannii is a cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia.
  4. Aspergillus is a fungal infection that affects patients with compromised immune systems.
  5. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium cause bloodstream, heart, and intra-abdominal infections.
  6. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients, particularly children with cystic fibrosis.

Martin J. Blaser, MD, president of IDSA says, "Our ammunition is running out and there are no reinforcements in sight." While pharmaceutical companies focus on developing more profitable drugs, drug-resistant germs proliferate.

In its 2004 report, Bad Bugs, No Drugs: As Antibiotic Discovery Stagnates, A Public Health Crisis Brews, the IDSA urged the US government to encourage pharmaceuticals to invest in antimicrobial research and development.

Yet as soon as new, stronger drugs are developed, the microbes outwit scientists by evolving resistance to the new drugs. A focus on research and development in preventive medicine immune-boosting would seem to be a better long-term solution.

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