Antibiotic resistance and now antibiotic tolerance-the next big threat to our survival

Just before Covid stole the universe’s thunder antibiotic resistance was looming as the biggest threat to humanities future.  Now it’s staging a comeback, threatening to knock coronavirus off its perch, as more and more lives are succumbing to this mounting scourge. These medicines initially our saviour have become our primary nemesis deployed indiscriminately in animals and humans to ward off infections which might never occur or can be managed by less industrial-strength interventions.

 Antibiotic tolerance is another emerging phenomenon whereby bacteria manage to survive in the presence of an antibiotic threat only to emerge and flourish once the antibiotic is no longer present threatening their existence.  This can presage resistance and bacteria are increasingly finding ways to outsmart even the most powerful antibiotics and they are sharing this information with their bacterial colleagues.

  Off-course this has prompted medical personnel to advocate for prescribing antibiotics for longer periods of time and to feverishly engage in research to uncover new antibacterial agents rather than considering ways to prevent infections from happening in the first place by augmenting our immune systems, a strategy I’ve outlined in detail in ‘Immune Apocalypse.’

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