Thursday, 24 February 2011

USA moves on antibiotic resistance in livestock

Two interlinked pieces from Maryn McKenna today. The biggest scandal of the 21st century is now heading quickly towards its denouement.

Britain’s corrupt government vets remain in total denial: the subject sat on, data missing or faked, whistle-blowers intimidated and research zero.

We would be better off with a gang of witchdoctors. We will probably have to learn to cope without veterinarians. Without antibiotics, they have little to offer.

A once proud and respected profession has been dragged down through self-regulation that failed to regulate.

Both reports can be found here

Running out of antibiotics — and other drugs too

By Maryn McKenna February 23, 2011 11:29 am

…Last night, the Journal of the American Medical Association posted ahead of print an editorial by Dr. James Hughes, former director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the CDC and now a professor of medicine and global health at Emory University. It’s a blunt and eloquent plea for attention to a problem that many people haven’t yet faced up to: We’re running out of antibiotics.

Antimicrobial agents have saved millions of lives and improved the outcomes for countless patients since these drugs were introduced in the early 1930s. However, the effectiveness of these lifesaving resources is at risk. Many medical advances that physicians and patients take for granted—including cancer treatment, surgery, transplantation, and neonatal care—are endangered by increasing antibiotic resistance and a distressing decline in the antibiotic research and development pipeline. (JAMA Hughes)

News break: Slaughter will reintroduce PAMTA (and cites data from this blog)

By Maryn McKenna February 23, 2011 5:01 pm

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Congress’s only microbiologist, said late today that she plans shortly to reintroduce PAMTA, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, a timely move given the collapsing antibiotic market (see this morning’s post) and continuing reports of resistance moving off farms (as in this post).

PAMTA would direct the FDA to re-examine its approvals of veterinary antibiotics that are close analogs of ones used in humans, because they can stimulate the development of resistant organisms. When those organisms move off the farm, as research shows they do, they then cause illnesses that cannot be treated by the functionally identical human drugs…