Antibiotic Resistance

November 23 2015No Commented

Categorized Under: Health product reviews, In the News

I read with interest, on the BBC web site, a report written by Health Editor James Gallagher on

Antibiotic resistance: World on cusp of “post antibiotic era”.

What a concern that this is happening and thought mainly to be because of the excessive use of antibiotics with animals.

James reports – Chinese scientists have identified a new mutation, dubbed the MCR-1 gene, that has prevented the “antibiotic drug of last resort” – Colistin, from killing bacteria.

The report in the Lancet Infectious Diseases showed resistance in a fifth of animals tested, in 15% of raw meat samples and in 16 patients.

As well as this, James goes on to tell us that “resistance has spread between a range of bacterial strains and species, including E.coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginos.

The bacteria E. Coli

The bacteria E. Coli

He tells us that Professor Timothy Walsh, who collaborated on the study, from the University of Cardiff, told the BBC News Website: “All the key players are now in place to make the post-antibiotic world a reality”.  ” If MCR-1 becomes global, which is a case of When, not if, and the gene aligns itself with other antibiotic resistant genes, which is inevitable, then we will have very likely reached the start of the post-antibiotic era”.

“At that point, if a patient is seriously ill, say with E. coli, then there is virtually nothing you can do”.

Resistance to the antibiotic Colistin has emerged before.  However the crucial difference this time, is the mutation has arisen in a way that is very easily shared between bacteria.

Professor Mark Wilcox from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust says ” The transfer rate of this resistance gene is ridiculously high, that doesn’t look good”.

His hospital is now dealing with multiple cases “where we’re struggling to find an antibiotic every month – an event he describes as being as “rare as hens teeth” five years ago.  He said there was no single event that would mark the start of the antibiotic apocalypse, but it was clear we’re losing the battle”.

This is a great chart from the BBC, which shows us how Antibiotic resistance spreads

_86775358_antibiotic_resistanceThe concern is that the new resistance gene will hook up with others plaguing hospitals, leading to bacteria resistant to all treatment – What is known as pan-resistance.

Professor Wilcox told the BBC News web site: ” Do I fear we’ll get to an un-treatable organism situation? Ultimately Yes.  Whether this happens this year, or next year or the year after is very hard to say”.

Early indications suggest the Chinese government is moving swiftly to address the problem.

Professor Walsh is meeting both agricultural and health ministries this weekend to discuss whether Colistin should be banned for agricultural use.

Professor Laura Piddock, from the campaign group Antibiotic Action, says the same antibiotics ” should not be used in veterinary and human medicine”.  She told the BBC News web site: “Hopefully the post-antibiotic  era is not upon us yet. However, this is a wake-up call to the world”.  She argues the dawning of the post-antibiotic era “really depends on the infection, the patient and whether there are alternative treatment options available” as combinations of antibiotics may still be effective.

New drugs are in development, such as teixobactin, which might delay the apocalypse, but are not yet ready for medical use.

A commentary in the Lancet concluded the “implications (of this study) are enormous” and unless something significant changes, doctors would “face increasing numbers of patients for whom we will need to say, ” Sorry, there is nothing i can do to cure your infection”.

Leanne James, from healthyonline tells us ” We all need to starting using antibiotics more wisely”.  Many people are disappointment when they visit their doctor, only to be told that the ailment they are suffering with, is a virus that will not respond to an antibiotic.  They are told to take paracetamol and anti inflammatories to relieve their symptoms.  As well as this, many people do not use their antibiotics correctly, finishing the course, as prescribed.

Naturopathically, there are many options available that may be able to be used, if you are suffering with a bacterial infection or a virus.   The first thing is being able to identify if it is a virus you have, or a bacterial infection.  These lists are not complete and other symptoms can be experienced.

If you have a virus, you will likely:Viral infection chart

Have a temperature
Coughing and sneezing
Feel achey and have sore muscles
Headache and fatigue
Feel Hot and cold and have temperature regulation problems
Have a lose bowel
Loss of appetite
Pain in your ear, throat and upper respiratory system

But do be aware that viral symptoms can be similar to those of a bacterial infection

If you have a bacterial infection, you will likely:

Have a temperature (not everyone with a bacterial infection has a temp though)
Coughing and sneezing
Headachesbacterial symptoms chart
Stiff neck
Have coloured mucous
Swollen glands, like swollen tonsils
Abdominal pain

You can develop a secondary bacterial infection after or while you have a virus

Nature to the rescue

Nature has provided many plants and nutrients that can help if you have a viral or bacterial infection.  The key with natural health is, Do not wait to see how your symptoms develop.  If you do not feel 100% and you believe you are “coming down with something” treat it straight away.

Common Herbs that can help with a bacterial or viral invasion include:

Olive Leaf, Echinacea, Cats Claw, Garlic, Andrographis & Elecampane, as well as the nutrients Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium.

It is important that if you are unwell, you REST.  There is no way you are going to get over what ever you have if you are racing around, when all your body really wants is to recuperate and make you well again.  There is something to be said for Grandmas chicken soup, so consider making yourself a pot of this, as nourishment for your body.  It is full of nutrient goodness and easy to digest.

Another important thing is to be careful with your personal hygiene, so as to not give your germs to others.  Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly, and clean the common areas in your house, like door knobs, cupboard handles and especially in the toilet and bathroom.

Natural pain killers and anti inflammatories could include white willow bark, turmeric, bromelain, MSM and Boswellia.  These may be a suitable alternative to over the counter pain killers.

Support your immune system

A probiotic, such as Inner Health Immune Booster for Adults or Kids can help to support better immunity and is a good choice of supplement to take, to help work to have a better and stronger functioning immune system. If your immunity is low, then System Well is one of our favourite products for helping to strengthen immunity.

Author
Leanne James
Naturopath
Founder Ideal Health & healthyonline

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