Opinion

''Will Humans Lose the Battle With Microbes?''


 Consider an all-too-common scenario: You're burning up from a high fever after a routine surgical procedure, and an infection specialist is called to help treat your problem. You assume that a short course of antibiotics will quickly turn things around. But the specialist candidly admits: "I'm sorry, I can't treat your infection. You've got a resistant bacteria, a super bug."

Any of us might hear those frightening words sooner than we think.

Antibiotics once seemed like a miracle weapon in our fight against microbes that have plagued mankind for millenniums, killing untold numbers of people with wounds and serious infections. But we're in danger of losing that weapon. Over the years, bacteria have grown increasingly resistant to these drugs. We've squandered an invaluable resource that we've overused — some might say abused. The drug industry is spending too little to develop alternatives. Only a concerted effort by government, private industry and the public can avert a crisis.

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