shtfusa

Are you Prepared?

This Rare and Lethal Superbug Has Spread Outside of Hospitals June 26, 2017

By now we’re all well aware of “superbugs,” or antibiotic resistant bacteria. These terrifying pathogens present a grave threat to the future of human health, because they’ve grown immune to our best medical treatments.

But not all superbugs are created equal. Some are certainly more common than others, and certain strains carry a higher mortality risk. Perhaps the most dangerous superbug is Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacea, also known as CRE.

It’s been called a “nightmare” superbug, and is considered among the most dangerous superbugs by the World Health Organization. CRE is immune to pretty much every form of antibiotic, and typically kills half of its victims. Unlike antibiotic resistant staph infections, which are frequently mentioned in the news, you’ve probably never heard of CRE. That’s because this bacteria typically only shows up in hospital patients. It normally resides harmlessly in the gut, until certain medical procedures accidentally transfer it to the bloodstream. So long as CRE stays in that environment, it’s not something the average person has to worry about.

Unfortunately, that state of affairs has changed. Last December, six people in Colorado were infected with CRE, and miraculously they all survived. What’s so puzzling and alarming about this, is that it appears none of these individuals were infected in a hospital.

But the six people in the new report had not stayed in a health care facility for at least a year before they contracted the infection. They had not recently undergone surgery or dialysis, either, and hadn’t received any invasive devices, such as having a catheter or feeding tube inserted — all of which can be risk factors for CRE infections, the report said.

Thus, the six cases appear to be “community-associated” CRE infections, meaning the patients may have picked up these bacteria from somewhere in their everyday lives, outside of a health care setting.

CRE infections outside of a health care setting are “unusual for these bacteria,” said study researcher Sarah Janelle, a health care-associated infections epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. These six cases suggest that “these bacteria might be moving from health care to community settings,” Janelle told Live Science. “Further surveillance of CRE is needed to determine whether this pattern continues in Colorado and to determine if this trend is occurring in other parts of the United States,” Janelle said.

Pretty much the only thing these patients had in common, is that they all suffered from urinary tract infections at some point in the last two years. Considering how common UTI’s are and how long that timeline is, that doesn’t really solve the mystery of how they became infected with CRE. None of these individuals seem connected in any way.

All we know is that one of the world’s most lethal superbugs has somehow made the leap from an isolated hospital setting, to the general public. It’s a rare and frightening pathogen, that may not remain rare in the near future.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 26th, 2017
Comments Off on This Rare and Lethal Superbug Has Spread Outside of Hospitals

Scientists May Have Finally Found a Solution to Antibiotic Resistance May 12, 2017

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs may be the gravest threat to human health in the 21st century. After over-prescribing antibiotics for decades, multiple strains of bacteria are now immune to treatment. Millions of people are infected with these superbugs every year in the US, and tens of thousands die. And that’s just the beginning. We may be in the early stages of the post-antibiotic era, and if this trend isn’t reversed, superbugs may be killing more people than cancer does by the year 2050.

As you might expect, the scientific community has been desperately trying to find a solution to this crisis for some time. And fortunately, scientists have made some significant progress in recent years. In 2016 for instance, researchers from the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts discovered Teixobactin, the first antibiotic to be found in nearly 30 years. And with that discovery, they figured out an entirely new avenue of research that could bring about many more antibiotics in the near future.

Of course, that doesn’t really solve the problem with antibiotic resistant superbugs when you think about it. It only serves to kick the can down the road. It’s entirely possible that any new antibiotic that is brought to market, will be thoroughly abused by the medical and agricultural communities. New resistant strains of bacteria will emerge, and we’ll be back to square one.

What we really need is a whole new approach to using antibiotics and treating bacterial infections. Preferably, something that bacteria can’t readily adapt to. Fortunately, a researcher by the name of Dr. Bruce Geller has come up with a new treatment method that might just fit the bill.

“Bacteria will develop resistance to any one antibiotic or antimicrobial given enough time,” says Dr. Bruce Geller, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University. “Because they’ve had a 4 billion year head start in the evolution of mechanisms to adapt to changing environments, they’re very, very good at getting around any antimicrobial they might encounter.”

So rather than just coming up with a new antibiotic, which bacterial strains would surely become immune to, he’s developed a compound that when exposed to bacteria, eliminates their resistance to antibiotics.

Geller’s megaweapon is a PPMO designed to neutralize resistance mechanisms in bacteria, leaving them vulnerable to antibiotics. “This molecule can restore sensitivity to standard, already-approved antibiotics in bacteria that are now resistant to those antibiotics,” Geller says, which eliminates the need to invest time and money in developing new antibiotics. So how does this PPMO work?

A PPMO is a type of synthetic molecule that mimics DNA and can bind to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of a cell. RNA takes the information stored in the DNA of a cell, translating it into proteins that carry out the various functions of that cell.

Imagine a gene as instructions, written in a letter. Normally, the RNA receives this letter and carries out the instructions, creating the appropriate proteins. The PPMO instead intercepts the letter along the way, replacing it with one that commands the RNA to do nothing. So Geller’s team can create a PPMO that binds to the gene that produces NDM-1 — an enzyme that neutralizes antibiotics — and silences it. Suddenly, the bacterium has no defense mechanism.

Of course, PPMOs aren’t a broad, perfect solution. For instance, Geller points out that a different kind of PPMO would have to be developed for each type of infection. So this method will be mainly used when a doctor knows exactly what is afflicting a patient. Despite that, what Dr. Geller has created is probably the best solution to antibiotic resistance that has been developed so far, and is the best hope we have to stem the tide of the superbugs.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 12th, 2017
Comments Off on Scientists May Have Finally Found a Solution to Antibiotic Resistance