Barbara Wells

Just In Time For The Weekend: CDC Sees Increase In Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea

Once upon a time, if you were unfortunate enough to get gonorrhea, it could be treated with penicillin or several other widely used antibiotics. Not only are those drugs largely ineffective in treating the sexually transmitted disease, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a worrisome recent increase in resistance to the drugs that still can be used to treat gonorrhea.

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MeneerDijk

Superbug Gene Found For Second Time In U.S.

Weeks after federal researchers confirmed the first discovery in the U.S. of a particular gene plasmid that can make bacteria resistant to an important antibiotic of last resort, a new report has turned up a second stateside instance of the gene. [More]

MeneerDijk

Academic Researchers Trying To Figure Out Especially Sneaky Strains Of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Lab tests are supposed to tell doctors and researchers which antibiotics will work against a given infection, but some bacteria are able to sneak around these tests. The bacteria appear to be susceptible to the last-line antibiotics that health care providers use against resistant superbugs, but a remnant survives and re-colonizes the patient once the antibiotic treatment is over. [More]

In Wake Of Superbug Scare, Lawmakers Renew Push For New Antibiotics

In Wake Of Superbug Scare, Lawmakers Renew Push For New Antibiotics

Last week, military scientists confirmed the discovery of a patient in Pennsylvania infected with a bacteria that was not only resistant to many traditional antibiotics, but also contained a gene (MCR-1) making it resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort used when all others are ineffective. In response, Senators are making a renewed push on bipartisan legislation intended to speed up the approval of new antibiotics. [More]

CDC Director: Drug-Resistant Superbug Means “Medicine Cabinet Is Empty”

frankieleon

You know that scene in action movies where the hero has fired every bullet, thrown every piece of throwable furniture, set off every explosive, but still the bad guy lurches forward? At that point, there’s nothing left for the hero to do but run and pray. After the recent discovery in the U.S. of a bacteria that is resistant to a vital last-resort antibiotic, some scientists believe we’re inching dangerously close to that run-and-pray moment in the world of medicine. [More]

(Teresa RS)

Cargill Cutting Back On Antibiotics In Its Beef

While several large chicken producers and buyers have made efforts to reduce the non-medical use of antibiotics, the beef industry has not been as quick to respond to growing concern among the medical community, and consumers at large, about the overuse of these medically important drugs in cows. But beef biggie Cargill has announced a plan to cut back on the vital antibiotics it provides to its bovines. [More]

Reminder: Do Not Run To The Doctor Demanding Antiobiotics If You Have A Cold

If you have or are getting over a cold, we hope that you feel better soon. However, our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports hope that you do not run to your doctor’s office and demand antibiotics unless test results show that your have strep throat, or you show symptoms of pneumonia. Antbiotics are life-saving when you need them, but taking them when you don’t can contribute to antibiotic resistance in the community. [Consumer Reports]

Drug-Resistant Superbug Gene Found In At Least 19 Countries Since November

A map showing the countries in which the MCR-1 gene has been confirmed.

You’ve likely never been prescribed the antibiotic colistin, because it’s a drug of last resort that you turn to after only other antibiotics have failed. But there’s a gene that can make bacteria resistant to colistin, and a new report says it’s been found in at least 19 countries on four continents. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Farm Animals Can Get Over-The-Counter Antibiotics That Humans Need A Prescription For

If you get sick and need an antibiotic, you’ll also need a prescription because these medically important drugs shouldn’t be used willy-nilly. But if you’re a cow, pig, chicken, or fish, you can get many of those same antibiotics without any prescription whatsoever at any number of retail and online stores. [More]

Lawmakers Call On USDA To Reduce Farmers’ Reliance On Antibiotics In Chickens

Lawmakers Call On USDA To Reduce Farmers’ Reliance On Antibiotics In Chickens

Following a 17-month outbreak of salmonella poisoning that sickened at least 600 people around the country, a Dept. of Agriculture advisory committee will meet tomorrow discuss strategies for effectively controlling the spread of salmonella in poultry. In advance of that meeting, two members of Congress are calling on the USDA to take a three-pronged approach to fighting drug-resistant bacteria. [More]

1 Photo & 3 Quotes That Explain Why You Should Watch Tonight’s Frontline About Chicken & Salmonella

Frontline

Over 1 million Americans get sick from salmonella every year. The bacteria, especially in more potent, drug-resistant forms, is responsible for the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths of all food borne illnesses; all in spite of increased anti-salmonella measures by the poultry industry. One giant chicken company was recently responsible for sickening more than 600 people in 29 states, while the federal government was virtually powerless in demanding a recall. [More]

FDA: Antibiotic Use In Farm Animals Grew In Spite Of Regulation

FDA: Antibiotic Use In Farm Animals Grew In Spite Of Regulation

Back in 2012, the FDA banned “extra-label” non-medical use in animals for the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, which are commonly used to treat humans for pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and other maladies. Not only did this restriction fail to curb the use of cephalosporins, but a new FDA report shows that the drug use increased following the ban. [More]

Bill Seeks (Again) To End Over-Use Of Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Bill Seeks (Again) To End Over-Use Of Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Antibiotic resistance is a big problem. Farmers know it. Consumer advocates know it. Doctors, the CDC, and the FDA all know it. You know it. And the largest contributor by far to the crisis is the 80% of antibiotics that are used in industrial farming. And Congress is, once again, taking a stab at making agricultural antibiotic abuse against the law before it’s too late.

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(Photo: Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation)

FDA: Use Of Vital Human Antibiotics In Animals Increased 16% In 3 Years

Even as a growing number of people — from consumers to scientists to physicians — expressed concerns about the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed, a new FDA report shows that farmers continued adding more drugs to their animals’ diets, and that almost every one of those antibiotics was purchased and administered without a prescription. [More]

Perdue Stops Using Antibiotics In Chicken Hatcheries

(Mark Turnauckas)

There’s some good news for a change for those concerned about the rampant use of antibiotics in animal feed. Perdue, the nation’s most well-known chicken producer claims that 95% of its chickens will now be antibiotic-free (sort of) after removing all antibiotics from chicken hatcheries. [More]

Could A Fungus Extract Take Away Drug-Resistant Superbugs’ Super Powers?

(Scott Lynch)

We’ve written several stories stories over the years asking farmers to stop feeding unnecessary antibiotics to their animals, but it’s not because we object to the taste of penicillin. It’s because study after study has shown that the over-use of antibiotics contributes to the development of so-called superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to the very drugs intended to kill them. But researchers in Canada may have found a way to reverse that resistance. [More]

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

2013 is gone, a collection of memories never to be dealt with again.  Next week, the 113th Congress returns for its second session, ideally to enact legislation throughout 2014, some of which could help consumers if they were to become law. [More]

Big Meat & Big Pharma Pleased As Punch With FDA’s Pointless New Antibiotic Guidelines

Big Meat & Big Pharma Pleased As Punch With FDA’s Pointless New Antibiotic Guidelines

Yesterday, the FDA came out swinging (with a Wiffle ball bat) against the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal feed (by politely asking the drug companies that make piles of cash off these drugs to please stop selling so many of them to farmers just to encourage tissue growth). To demonstrate just how weak this (in)action is, one need look no further than the enthusiastic response from the nation’s huge meat and drug companies. [More]