Antibiotics

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Antibiotics

No, MR-CoNS isn’t some kind of crazy new conservative, it stands for methicillin resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci. CoNS are relatives of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (the ‘SA’ in MRSA), and are common human commensals–they typically live on us and in us without causing disease. One of the important things, from a health perspective, about CoNS is…

So I was at the ASM meeting last week, and one of the talks I heard was by Kim Ware about Clostridium difficile infection control: how one hospital learned to contain and prevent outbreaks (Note: these are from my notes; I haven’t downloaded the presentation yet). C. difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and…

If you want the short version, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA is a must read. While I have a couple minor quibbles (more about those in a bit), they don’t detract from either the importance or the style of this book. While there has been a lot written about methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)…

One of the best ways to deal with the problem of antibiotic resistance is infection control in hospitals. That is, if patients aren’t getting infections, whether those be sensitive or resistant to antibiotics, then there’s less of a problem. Massachusetts has released its annual report on hospital infection rates. The report currently looks at two…

I’m conflicted about Nicholas Kristof’s recent op-ed about antibiotic resistant organisms. On the one hand, Kristof is one of the only national columnists to raise this issue at all. On the other hand, I found his most recent column somewhat confusing–and I’m an expert in this area (I also think he’s jumping to unfounded conclusions,…

China: A Looming Antibiotic Resistance Problem

And you thought fixing the renminbi was bad. By way of Glyn Moody, we find that The Guardian has a very disturbing report about antibiotic resistance in China (italics mine): Chinese doctors routinely hand out multiple doses of antibiotics for simple maladies like the sore throats and the country’s farmers excessive dependence on the drugs…

The success of a European MRSA surveillance network shows just how stupid, foolish, and short-sighted the Obama Administration’s decision to cut CDC antimicrobial resistance surveillance is. But let’s turn this frown upside down campers, and look at the really cool website the European Staphylococcal Reference Laboratory Working Group set up.

(from here) By way of Maryn McKenna, we find that the Obama Administration has decided to massively cut the funding for the CDC’s antimicrobial resistance and vaccination efforts. I thought this was the kind of anti-science bullshit that the Bush Administration did. From the IDSA (pdf): Under CDC’s proposed budget, the agency’s already severely strapped…

Who coulda thunk it? There are two frustrating attitudes held by a fair number of antibiotic resistance/infectious disease specialists about MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus). First, some argue that we really shouldn’t be focusing on MRSA, since it’s already evolved–the cat is out of the bag. Never mind that this particular cat kills more people…

Yesterday, four people emailed me, asking about Brian Palmer’s Slate article about antibiotic resistance. Since I’ll probably get more such emails (and thank you for sending them), I’ll offer my thoughts below: 1) Palmer’s basic point about antibiotic development not being the answer is right. All a new drug does is kick the can down…