Which countries have the most antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
By National Geographic magazine staffThe antibiotics used to treat the most common infections are increasingly being used in other countries.
Many antibiotics used in Europe and North America are also being used by people in developing countries to treat common infections, and some of the drugs have been linked to antibiotic resistance, a worrying development.
“We’re seeing antibiotic resistance in the developing world, where the need for antibiotics is much higher than it was decades ago,” says Dr. Steven C. Krieger, a microbiologist and infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania.
“The situation is so bad that we have to think about it, and we have a lot of data about what’s going on.”
Antibiotics have long been a key part of the battle against infections.
But now, researchers are trying to understand why so many of the antibiotics that were used decades ago are now causing so much trouble.
The problem is that they’re very similar, and it’s possible that they may be used in the same ways.
“If they’re similar in design, they could be used interchangeably, so we could use the same antibiotic,” says Krieberg.
“But it’s a lot harder to tell the difference between the same drugs than it is between different antibiotics.”
The question is: Why do so many drugs in use today cause so much harm?
And how can we find out if we need to change the way we use them?
For the past several decades, researchers have been looking at how the bacteria in our gut affect our health.
But in the past few years, they’ve also been looking into how we might use antibiotics to fight them.
They’ve begun to look at how different drugs interact with different bacteria.
Some antibiotics cause a more harmful effect than others, and the results have been promising.
One key finding has been that certain drugs cause less of a reaction in bacteria that can fight off other infections.
And that means that we should be cautious when choosing which antibiotics to use.
But it also means that the way the antibiotics are used needs to be looked at.
For the most part, researchers agree that the only way to change how we use antibiotics is to replace them with new drugs that don’t harm the bacteria they’re meant to help.
And they’re starting to realize that that’s a challenging task.
“It’s a big challenge,” says Stephen M. Mather, a professor of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
“There’s a large amount of antibiotic research to be done on the other side of the coin.
And I think that that is a very important consideration for the American public.”
And it’s not just the antibiotics.
There are other common antibiotics, like carbapenem antibiotics, which are used to fight other infections like tuberculosis and MRSA.
But research on the effects of these drugs has been mixed.
Some studies have found that people who took them fared better than people who didn’t, while others found that they didn’t make much difference.
“What’s really disappointing about this is that there are so many different drugs that we’re using that are actually really good at treating some diseases,” says Mather.
For example, the drugs that were initially used to kill E. coli bacteria, like ceftriaxone and erythromycin, were found to be effective against MRSA infections.
In contrast, there are newer drugs like flibanserin, which is a combination of a carbapentol and a fluoroquinolone, that are also effective at killing some other infections, like tuberculosis.
Researchers aren’t sure why these newer drugs have a lower response rate than older ones.
The question remains: If newer drugs aren’t working, should we try to find a new drug that works?
“We have a very good idea about the drug that’s working and what’s not,” says Cesar J. Garcia, a researcher at the Department of Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Pharmacy.
“I think that’s what’s really important.”
It’s a similar dilemma faced by the antibiotics used for treating common infections.
The drugs that are being used to combat a disease are often different from the drugs we’ve been using for the past century.
For instance, many antibiotics were developed decades ago for treating respiratory infections like pneumonia, but they were also designed to treat infections like Crohn’s disease and urinary tract infections like UTIs.
The old antibiotics were thought to be much less effective than the newer ones.
But the question is, is it really?
And are newer, less effective drugs really the better option?
And what’s the best way to get the best results?
What the new drugs can do is to fight infections in a way that the older drugs don’t do.
That means they can kill more of the bacteria that cause those infections.
“Antibiotics are the ones that are really good,” says J.R. Schulte, director of the University at Buffalo Center for Drug Development and Analysis