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A 'Slow Catastrophe' Unfolds as the Golden Age of Antibiotics Comes to an End

Melissa Healy | Los Angeles Times | July 11, 2016

In early April, experts at a military lab outside Washington intensified their search for evidence that a dangerous new biological threat had penetrated the nation’s borders. They didn’t have to hunt long before they found it. On May 18, a team working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research here had its first look at a sample of the bacterium Escherichia coli, taken from a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania. She had a urinary tract infection with a disconcerting knack for surviving the assaults of antibiotic medications. Her sample was one of six from across the country delivered to the lab of microbiologist Patrick McGann...

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The Grim Propect of Antibiotic Resistance

Staff Writer | The Economist | May 21, 2016

When people hear about antibiotic resistance creating “superbugs”, they tend to think of new diseases and pandemics spreading out of control. The real threat is less flamboyant, but still serious: existing problems getting worse, sometimes dramatically. Infections acquired in hospital are a prime example. They are already a problem, but with more antibiotic resistance they could become a much worse one. Elective surgery, such as hip replacements, now routine, would come to carry what might be seen as unacceptable risk. So might Caesarean sections. The risks of procedures which suppress the immune system, such as organ transplants and cancer chemotherapies, would increase...

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