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Oral antibiotics increase bacterial resistance

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#1 DocM


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:42


Nil by mouth: oral ingestion blamed for rapid rise of antibiotic resistance

A new study into antibiotic resistance in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy points the finger of blame squarely at the oral ingestion of antibiotics. Using intravenous or transdermal methods of delivery, say the researchers, could significantly slow the spread of antibiotic resistance.

"For more than 40 years, a few doses of penicillin were enough to take care of deadly bacterial infections," says researcher Hua Wang of Ohio State University. "But since the 1980s, antibiotic resistance has been spreading rapidly, disabling once-powerful agents, leaving increasing numbers of patients to suffer, and even to die."

In previous research, the same Ohio State research team found a large cache of antibiotic resistance genes carried by non-pathogenic bacteria in many ready-to-consume food items. They also reported the rapid development of resistant bacteria in new-born infants who had not been exposed to antibiotics, suggesting the gastrointestinal tract played a critical role in spreading resistance.

In the new research, the team inoculated lab mice with either Enterococcus species or Escherichia coli carrying specific resistance genes. The mice were then given tetracycline or ampicillin antibiotics, either orally, or via injection.

Wang found that the oral administration of antibiotics resulted in the rapid rise of resistance genes as measured in the mice' feces. Resistance spread much less, and more slowly when the mice received antibiotics via injection.

The researchers also found that antibiotic resistance genes were not detectable in mice that had not been inoculated with bacteria containing antibiotic resistance genes, regardless of the route of antibiotic administration.

Wang says it should not be surprising that oral administration would abet the spread of resistance genes, since this route, unlike injection, directly exposes the large population of gastrointestinal bacteria to antibiotics.

The resulting resistant microbes then get transmitted to the environment via the feces. From there, bacteria containing resistance genes again gain entry to the food supply, via livestock, or via produce that has been exposed to manure from industrial livestock, as well as contaminated waste and soil. "Revealing this key risk factor is exciting because we have options other than oral administration," she concluded.

#2 theyarecomingforyou


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:48

Fascinating research. Antibiotic resistance will be a major issue in the future and is already posing serious issues now.

#3 Torolol


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 06:13

the plan worked, turn existing effective drugs into obsoloscene, so pharma can sell new more costly drugs to replace it, repeat and rinse.

#4 Stealthy_Singh


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:04

the plan worked, turn existing effective drugs into obsoloscene, so pharma can sell new more costly drugs to replace it, repeat and rinse.

They don't have any yet!

#5 vcfan


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:26

They don't have any yet!


of course they do, right next to their hidden cancer,diabetes,ms and alzheimers cures :tinfoilhat:

#6 Steven P.

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:29

the plan worked, turn existing effective drugs into obsoloscene, so pharma can sell new more costly drugs to replace it, repeat and rinse.

Not really, bacteria can evolve too.

#7 Enron


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:41

Not really, bacteria can evolve too.


We need nanomachines to fight the bacteria.

#8 BetaAddict


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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:54

This is rather straight forward based on the growth patterns presented by bacteria. Your blood is normally sterile, therefore intravenous (IV) antibiotics has no risk of selecting for the resistant strains so long as the right drug is given to eliminate the pathogenic bacteria in an infection. But when it comes to oral administration, you have a much more diverse community of bacteria in the mouth and gut to consider. Giving oral antibiotics to limit the growth of one bacteria may favor the growth of another bacterial stain that has resistance genes. Almost all of us have antibiotic resistant strains of certain bacteria, but they are just present in very low numbers due to crowding out for resources.


If there is one pathogen that runs the risk of becoming the next Spanish influenza-like pandemic, that would be Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes TB. There are now XtremelyDrugResistant-TB strains popping up in India and other countries poorly regulated antibiotic usage. One third of the world population is infected with latent TB strains waiting for reactivation, although only 9 million actually have active TB illness.

#9 charu0985


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Posted 05 July 2013 - 08:52

Its true that Antibiotic resistance is increasing in the society. In our recent study we have investigated antibiotic resistance pattern in new born babies, our finding reveal that despite of direct antibiotic selection pressure, load of antibiotic resistance in community is quite high.

Link of our finding is




Time is now to take strict major against antibiotic resitance, as new antibiotics development process is quite lenghty and antibiotic resistance development by bacteria is quite rapid

#10 +Audien


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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:02

the plan worked, turn existing effective drugs into obsoloscene, so pharma can sell new more costly drugs to replace it, repeat and rinse.

As far as I'm aware antibiotic research hasn't kept pace with antibacterial resistance.  There are already some strains of TB for example that are completely resistant to all antibiotics.