As a nation we are becoming more dependent on antibiotics, which despite their reputation as destroyers of disease, can actually wreck lives and even kill!
Overuse of theses wonder drugs is causing major scientific and medical headaches and we are all a part of the problem.
We take antibiotics for a range of illnesses, some serious and some less so and also consume them without realising it, in our food. It will never tell you on a label that antibiotics are routinely used to promote rapid growth of animals.
Bacteria have an astonishing ability to adapt and produce new antibiotic resistant strains, so when the time comes that we actually need an antibiotic, it may not work.
Governments, doctors, drug companies and the public have all colluded together in this fiasco. As consumers we want cheap food and as patients we want quick fixes for sniffles and minor illnesses. The latest report from the National Audit Office that an estimated 5,000 patients are being killed each year by 'hospital acquired infections', like MRSA, is but the latest sign that the problem is out of control.
With regard to food production, the problem is that drugs actively promote the survival, selection and growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria. These become the 'superbugs'; they mutate and resistance is building up in both humans and animals.
Development of new antibiotics is proving both difficult and expensive!
There are, however, choices facing each of us. We can refuse to eat meat reared on antibiotics and we can stop demanding them from our doctors for minor ills. Antibiotics should be kept for emergency use only and we should urge the NHS to invest in prevention rather than cure.
"Microbiology Lab: Staph Only."