The Rise Of Superbugs And ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ And How You Can Stay Healthy

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“Nightmare bacteria” with unusual resistance to antibiotics of last resort were found more than 200 times in the United States last year in a first-of-its-kind hunt to see how much of a threat these rare cases have become. It’s also important to realize that there are steps that can be taken to help stem the evolution of these superbugs and remain healthy.

The pipes of hospitals carrying away the infections of the sick are bound to be quite disturbing places, however, scientists dared to snoop around in them anyway and found that they can fuel superbugs: antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control even announced that they found 200 types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria lurking around – and hospitals seem to be the perfect breeding grounds.

The genetic building blocks for antibiotic resistance intermingle freely in the pipes connected to the hospital rooms of those who are sick with viruses and bacterial infections, according to a study published in the journal mBio. That DNA can give superbugs the power to defeat modern medicines and threaten the lives of other patients.

In a new study, published by The American Society for Microbiologyscientists determined that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bred in the plumbing of hospitals. The study, titled Genomic Analysis of Hospital Plumbing Reveals Diverse Reservoir of Bacterial Plasmids Conferring Carbapenem Resistance found that even when hospitals themselves are impeccably clean of infectious bacteria and viruses, the pipes that carry away those micro-organisms are not.

Last year, public health labs around the United States were asked to watch for and quickly respond to cases of advanced antibiotic resistance, especially to some last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems. Carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs) are a global concern because of the morbidity and mortality associated with these resistant Gram-negative bacteria.

“Pseudomonas aeruginosa” bacteria, one of the germs that can evolve to resist antibiotics.

In the first nine months of the year, more than 5,770 samples were tested for these “nightmare bacteria,” as the CDC so lovingly calls them, and about 25% were found to have genes that make them hard to treat and easy to share their resistance with other types of bacteria. Of these, 221 had unusual genes that conferred resistance. The cases were scattered throughout 27 states.

“Essentially, we found nightmare bacteria in your backyard,” said the CDC’s Anne Schuchat. “These verge on untreatable infections,” she added, where the only option may be supportive care such as intravenous fluids and machines to maintain life to give the patient a chance to recover. About 2 million Americans get infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and of those, 23,000 die, Schuchat said.

It is inevitable that each drug will lose its ability to kill disease-causing bacteria over time, says Marc Sprenger, the Director of the World Health Organization’s secretariat for antimicrobial resistance. This is because bacteria, through natural selection and genetic adaptation, become resistant to antibiotics. Essentially, bacteria, like most living things, evolve for survival.

The best way to prepare for any superbug (a bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics) is to prevent the human body from contracting an infection and from rejecting antibiotic medications.

The one thing most can do is pretty simple: don’t take an antibiotic for a viral infection, such as the cold or the flu. Humans are speeding up the process of transforming all bacteria into drug-resistant superbugs by overusing antibiotics. Today, it is estimated that in half of all cases, antibiotics are prescribed for conditions caused by viruses, where they do no good. You can also do more to prevent infections in the first place by ensuring your hands, instruments, and environment are clean, Sprenger said.

If you are prescribed an antibiotic, don’t feel stressed about asking your doctor if the medication is necessary. Remember, often antibiotics are prescribed for viral infections, which leads to resistance. Also, make sure to completely finish the antibiotics and take them as directed if you have a confirmed bacterial infection. Not finishing the medication can lead to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria.

Humans are also in the bad habit of overusing antibiotics in the agricultural sector. Misuse of antibiotics in livestock, aquaculture, and crops is a key factor contributing to antibiotic resistance and its spread into the environment, the food chain, and human beings. Clean and uncrowded living conditions for the animals can reduce the need to use antibiotics. Not only are clean conditions ideal for healthy livestock, those health benefits will transfer to humans upon consumption.

The overall theme is to maintain a clean environment for yourself and your animals, wash your hands often, only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary, and if antibiotics are necessary, finish the medication and take as directed by your doctor.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Antibiotics in Dirt ‘Annihilate’ Superbugs

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According to a study published this week in the journal Nature Microbiology, researchers at New York’s Rockefeller University have discovered a new class of antibiotics—called malacidins—that “annihilate” several antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

As you know, the lack of still-effective antibiotics is quickly becoming a global crisis. In fact, the study says, “In the absence of new therapies, mortality rates due to untreatable infections are predicted to rise more than tenfold by 2050.”

So where did researchers discover these new “drugs”?

In good old-fashioned dirt!

Those of us who strive for healthy soil and appreciate its incredibly active microbiology won’t be surprised to hear that. (And, actually, soil is where most of our widely used antibiotics started, including penicillin and vancomycin.)

You can learn more about the study’s finding here, or click here to read the study itself.

 

 

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Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide

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Finally, a straightforward guide to help you buy antibiotic-free meat.   If you’re not raising your own livestock, here’s how you can be sure there are no antibiotics in your meat… 

Today, the steak on your plate was raised from a baby calf to butchering weight at speeds that would astound your ancestors.

“Bigger, faster, cheaper” is the mantra of the commercial meat industry, and one key to their success has been the widespread use of antibiotics.

Livestock fed a steady diet of growth-promoting antibiotics can put on weight at impressive rates, but recently scientists are sounding the alarm about the consequences of feeding these powerful medications to essentially healthy animals.

Concerned with the rising risk of antibiotic resistance, many scientists believe that feeding significant doses of antibiotics to livestock has dire rammifications for both human health and modern medicine. The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously.

The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously, modern medicine may lose its effectiveness in the next hundred years.[i]

The stakes are high, so take the time to educate yourself about the use of antibiotics for livestock to learn what’s really happening to the animals that become your dinner.

The Mixed Blessing of Antibiotics

buying antibiotic-free meat

Antibiotics are medicines that destroy bacteria, making them useful for controlling, treating and even preventing disease and infections.

In the decades since their discovery, antibiotics have saved millions of lives because simple cuts are no longer a death threat, and invasive surgeries and once unthinkable organ transplants are now routine.

Unfortunately, almost eighty years of global antibiotic use is starting to reveal some downsides.

Because antibiotics work by killing off entire populations of bacteria within your body, they essentially destroy all bacteria within range. However, bacteria are living organisms that have random genetic variances that equip a few out of millions to survive the onslaught of specific antibiotics. These surviving bacteria then become the ones that propagate, and consequently spread their resistant genes.

Over time, entire populations of bacteria become resistant to multiple forms of antibiotics, which makes them SUPERBUGS.

Because they are resistant to most common antibiotics, superbugs are incredibly difficult to control. They are responsible for an estimated 700,000 deaths annually, and that number is expected to rise to over 10 million by 2050.

For this reason, the World Health Organization recently listed antibiotic resistance as a major global threat for the 21st century.[ii]

Out Of Control:  Superbugs and the Meat Industry

sourcing antibiotic-free beef

 

[UPDATE, December 15, 2017: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Feed Directive Final Rule went into effect on January 1, 2017. The rule aims to reduce antibiotic resistance by eliminating the common practice of using “medically important” antibiotics to promote animal growth and feed efficiency. However, with the approval of a veterinarian, livestock producers may still feed these antibiotics in therapeutic dosages to prevent the illnesses fostered by the less-than-desirable living conditions often found in commercial operations. For more information on this topic, I strongly encourage you to read Angie’s well-balanced comment below. She offers an excellent perspective!]

The root of the problem of antibiotic resistance comes from an overuse of antibiotics themselves, and one of the ways that antibiotics tends to be overused is with livestock.[iii]

While humans need a prescription to gain access to antibiotics, farmers aren’t under the same requirements for their animals and can administer them with minimal regulation. (Please see the update at the beginning of this section.) In 2011, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used for animal production, which was almost four times the amount used by the national human population.[iv]

Why are so many antibiotics given to animals?

In past decades livestock producers began to use them as a preventative measure to keep their animals healthy against infectious disease, something that became increasingly important as factory farms kept animals in tight living conditions.

They later found that small daily doses of certain antibiotics made animals grow bigger and faster, often gaining as much as 3 percent more weight than otherwise possible.[v]

Consumers may like cheap meat, but feeding excessive amounts of antibiotics to animals has some dire consequences for human health.

The growing threat of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria from the overuse of these drugs can compromise the effectiveness of treatments for humans, putting the reliability of life-saving drugs at risk for the people that need them most.

China and Colistin: An Example of Bacteria Gone Bad

Antibiotics meat China

To understand the true threat of antibiotic resistance, you only need to travel over to China to get a glimpse of what the damage can be.

Recent reports have shown that Chinese strains of E. coli (a diverse, often dangerous strain of bacteria) is showing resistance to an old form of antibiotic called colistin.[vi] Discovered in the 1950s, colistin fell out of favor when antibiotics with fewer side effects were discovered. However, as preferable medications continued to be compromised by antibiotic resistance, colistin use became widespread again. Unfortunately, even this trusted antibiotic is becoming vulnerable to E. coli superbugs.

The growing problem with colistin resistance is traced back to the Chinese meat industry, where over 8000 tons of it are given to pigs and chickens every year to enhance their growth.

Strains of resistant E. coli have been found in meat, livestock and even people around the world, and the threat is real that the colistin resistant gene in E. coli could spread to other dangerous bacteria as well. The danger doesn’t just stay near farms, either.

Manure tainted with drug-resistant bacteria often infects nearby water systems.

And flies often carry the bacteria to cities far away, sometimes even to already vulnerable hospital patients.[vii]

Sick From Tainted Meat: 

Modern medicine losing its potency has dire consequences for everyone on the planet, and the effects for your health should be a top concern.

Widespread antibiotic resistance in livestock means that dangerous pathogens aren’t always killed off before meat makes it to your plate. A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.

Antibiotics meat ecoli

A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.[viii] The situation is similar for poultry. Consumer Reports tests of chicken from 2006 and 2012 revealed that over two-thirds of their samples were contaminated with salmonella, 60 percent of which was resistant to forms of antibiotics.[ix]

Though the meat industry believes these statistics aren’t concerning, because people thoroughly cook their meat before eating it, partially raw meat, unwashed cutting boards, or thawing meat juice that leaks onto other foods in the refrigerator are all ways that pathogens can spread.[x]

More Drug-Resistant Diseases

Humans and animals swap diseases all the time. A full two-thirds of human diseases first began in animals, and drug resistance that starts with animals can also jump the species boundary.[xi]

Evidence is now growing that resistant bacteria from antibiotic treated farm animals can spread to the humans that eat them. This means that ingesting drug-resistant bacteria in meat that wasn’t fully cooked might make you ill with a disease that antibiotics are powerless to treat.[xii]

antibiotic-free meat: antibiotics in agriculture

The problem is only growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that over two million Americans become sick with drug-resistant bacteria every year, and more than 23,000 end up dying.[xiii]

The connection between the increased use of antibiotics for meat production and the loss of effectiveness of human medicine is becoming better understood, and the evidence is clear that feeding unregulated amounts of antibiotics to livestock is only going to harm human health in the long run.

The threat of looming antibiotic resistance is real, but those in authority aren’t always acting in the public interest. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,[xiv] the FDA has buried research findings that revealed 18 types of antibiotics currently used on livestock that carry a high risk of increasing the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for diseases that affect humans.

Even worse, many of these medications don’t reach the FDA’s own safety standards, yet they are used widely on livestock across the country.

Best Ways to Source Antibiotic-Free Meat:

In recent years, consumer outrage against antibiotics has created positive changes in the food industry.

Three of the largest chicken producers in America (Tyson, Perdue and Foster Farms) recently stated that they intend to reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to their healthy birds.

Large corporations like McDonald’s,[xv] Wendy’s and Popeyes are also taking a stand against fluoroquinolones (a family of synthetic antibiotics) and are refusing to buy birds that have been treated with them.[xvi]

However, there’s still no way to know for sure if these brands are sticking to their promises and keeping antibiotics out of their products.

Antibiotics chicken meat

If you want to reject antibiotics in your meat, you’ll need reliable ways to source antibiotic-free alternatives.

(Assuming you’re not ready to start raising your own livestock, which is what we ultimately recommend.)

Reading The Labels:

Antibiotic free meat

To ensure that the meat you eat doesn’t contain trace amounts of dangerous bacteria, you need to familiarize yourself with the following methods of identification.

  • Country of Origin: Depending on where your meat is sourced from, it might automatically be safe from antibiotics. Since 2006, European Union has banned farmers from using antibiotics to promote growth and instead regulates their use to treating disease only.[xvii]
  • USDA Organic: When organically-raised animals become sick, they are treated with antibiotics and sent to a conventional production system where they are no longer labeled as organic. This means that any meat product with the label USDA Organic is guaranteed to be free of antibiotics, both for promoting growth and for treating illness.[xviii]
  • ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’, ‘No Antibiotics Administered’ and Similar Variations: These labels signify that the meat in question came from animals raised without antibiotics, often in conditions comparable to organic (but uncertified). For extra reliability, look for labels accompanied by a “USDA Process Verified” shield, which ensures that the company in question paid to have their claims verified.

Labels to Avoid When Buying Antibiotic-Free Meat

There’s lots of money to be made selling shady meat, which is why healthy sounding labels that are actually meaningless abound in the supermarket. If you really want to source meat that’s free from antibiotics, be sure to avoid these convincing, yet empty, claims.

  • Antibiotic-Free: The USDA has never legally authorized the use of the term “antibiotic-free”, so if you see it on packaging it has no legal meaning.
  • Natural: The USDA meaning of natural is very loose, and only implies that the final product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain added colors or artificial ingredients. Antibiotics are fully allowed in “natural” meat, making the term meaningless if you’re trying to avoid them.
  • No Antibiotic Residues: Though this isn’t a USDA-approved claim, it’s often used on labels to refer to the fact that antibiotics were not used for the last days or weeks of the animal’s life so that traces of the chemicals would have time to naturally work themselves out. However, the label “No Antibiotic Residues” usually implies that the animal was fed significant amounts of antibiotics earlier in life.
  • No Antibiotic Growth Promotants: Not only is this claim not approved by the USDA, it’s also intentionally misleading. Animals that aren’t given antibiotics to aid their growth levels might still get them regularly to stay healthy in their crowded cages, meaning their exposure levels are far higher than the label implies.[xix]

The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is likely to only get worse.

To cut out the biggest source of antibiotic use and keep the planet safe, do what you can to buy antibiotic-free meat.  Better yet, raise your own livestock.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the continuation of modern medicine might someday depend on it.

(This article was originally published on March 31, 2017.)

antibiotic resistance

Sources

[i] The Biggest Threat to Modern Medicine- Antibiotic Resistance

[ii] World Health Organization: What to Do About Resistant Bacteria in the Food Chain

[iii] STAT- The Livestock Industry is Key in the Race to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

[iv] Consumers Union: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health

[v] Frontline: Modern Meat

[vi] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[vii] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[viii] The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats

[ix] Consumer Reports: The High Cost of Cheap Chicken

[x] Superbug Resistant to Last Resort Antibiotic Arises in China

[xi] 13 Animal-to-Human Diseases Kill 2.2 Million People Each Year

[xii] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xiii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiv] NRDC Petitions FDA: Agency’s Weak Attempt to Curb Antibiotic Abuse in the Livestock Industry is Failing

[xv] McDonald’s Now Serving Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics-Mostly

[xvi] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xvii] European Commission: Ban on Antibiotics as Growth Promoters in Animal Feed Enters into Effect

[xviii] USDA: Organic

[xix] Consumer Reports: Antibiotics in the Meat Industry

 

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The High Cost of Cheap Turkey

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Is Pastured Turkey Worth the Cost?

Here in Virginia, a regular fifteen-pound turkey at the supermarket will cost you about $30 or less. But if you want a local, traditional turkey like a Bourbon Red, raised on pasture—expect to pay anywhere from $60–$90.

That’s a lot of money! Is it really worth it?

I saw some turkeys a while ago that definitely answered that question for me. These turkeys were probably around five months old, in a truck, on their way to slaughter.

A “normal” turkey’s life span is about 7–10 years. But these turkeys wouldn’t make it to see their first birthday. If they weren’t slaughtered for Thanksgiving, most of them would die of heart disease and organ failure by Christmas.

In fact, statistically speaking, 20 percent of their turkey buddies already died before they got to this truck. Around 6 percent of them had their heart give out within just one or two months of birth.

Why Are These Turkeys So Different?

In order to maximize profits, these turkeys were selectively bred to have incredibly large breasts—so large that the birds have trouble standing up. And forget about flying! Their legs often bow and sometimes spontaneously fracture under the weight.

Heritage breeds like the Bourbon Red that are raised on pasture are incredibly athletic and free. They run up to 25 miles per hour, fly, and often roost in the trees. (If you want to see something funny, watch a farmer try to catch his or her Bourbon Red turkeys!)

And Ben Franklin is reported to have wanted our national bird to be the fierce turkey rather than the bald eagle.

Turkeys on Antibiotics

Given a choice, turkeys aren’t vegetarians. They eat lots of greens, bugs, and rodents.

The turkeys I saw on that truck, on the other hand, were fed a vegetarian diet of GMO grains like soy and corn.

And now, an important note about antibiotics: You may have heard about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Feed Directive Final Rule, which went into effect on January 1, 2017.

The rule aims to reduce antibiotic resistance by eliminating the common practice of using “medically important” antibiotics to promote animal growth and feed efficiency. However, with the approval of a veterinarian, turkey producers may still feed these antibiotics in therapeutic dosages to prevent the illnesses fostered by the living conditions often found in commercial operations—dark, overcrowded barns packed with other turkeys, walking and living in their own feces.

In fact, a 2013 study showed turkey meat to be the dirtiest of all meats, with nine of ten samples containing dangerous fecal bacteria including E. coli.

As we’ve learned, humans aren’t the only ones harmed by commercial animal-raising systems.

The animals I was looking at on that truck were incredibly sick—the natural result of a commercial farming revolution that has rejected the wisdom of nature. Farming has gone industrial, so that the largest U.S. turkey farms produce well over a million turkeys a month.

The entire commercial turkey industry has learned to hijack modern science to breed and raise a turkey that gets as large as possible as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Plus, by the time you buy the turkey, it’s been so filled with salt water that this solution accounts for up to 40 percent of the turkey’s final weight.

So What Can I Do?

The farmers who embrace the wisdom of nature, the traditions of our ancestors, and the facts of modern science all agree: Raising a turkey on pasture so that it can eat its natural diet is the best way to optimize the health of farms, turkeys—and you, the customer.

Turkeys raised on pasture live healthier, happier lives; are healthy when they are slaughtered; and make you healthier, too. Their meat contains more anti-inflammatory fats like Omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid (another essential fat that is scarce in the modern diet).

Farming practices that embrace Mother Nature’s wisdom preserve the land, support the soil, and create far less pollution.

These are just a few reasons to choose a pastured turkey this Thanksgiving.

Three Questions for Your Farmer

If you truly want to do your part to help preserve our beautiful planet and your health, you need to ask three questions of your farmer:

  1. What did this turkey eat? You’re looking for a bird that lived on mostly foraged grasses and greens, wild animals, and only a small amount of organic grains and feeds.
  2. How did this turkey live? Happy turkeys move around from pasture to pasture and enjoy lots of sunlight.
  3. What drugs was this turkey given? Ideally, none—or only some medicines if they were sick.

You should know that the terms “cage free” and “free range” are virtually meaningless in that they make very little difference in the actual life or treatment of the turkey you are purchasing. If you see these terms, know that you are often no better off buying one of these than you would be buying an industrially raised turkey.

If you see “vegetarian fed,” know that turkeys are not vegetarians.

If you see “organic,” that’s a little better—at least you know they are hormone- and antibiotic-free, for the most part. But they still may have led lives of confinement indoors, eating grains, and living in cramped and unsanitary spaces.

Where Should I Start?

You can start by looking for a local farm that uses traditional farming practices. If you’re unsure, ask them the three questions above.

You can also talk to a practitioner who is listed on PrimalDocs.com. Most of them know where to get local traditionally raised animals.

Also check out LocalHarvest.org and EatWellGuide.org. Last, you can look up your local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation for help finding great farms and resources near you.

TGN Bi-Weekly Newsletter

(This is an updated version of a post that was originally published in October 2014.) 


Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6721797
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480912/pdf/canvetj00082-0039.pdf
  3. https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/ucm449019.htm
  4. https://www.peta.org/living/food/turkey-factory-farm-slaughter
  5. https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AntimicrobialResistance/NationalAntimicrobialResistanceMonitoringSystem/ucm059103.htm
  6. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/05/01/180045788/antibiotic-resistant-bugs-turn-up-again-in-turkey-meat
  7. http://ncifap.org/_images/PCIFAPFin.pdf
  8. http://extension.psu.edu/animals/poultry/topics/general-educational-material/the-chicken/modern-turkey-industry
  9. http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm
  10. http://www.cooperfarms.com/OurCompany/MediaCenter/News/tabid/147/ArticleId/61/One-of-Americas-biggest-turkey-farms-is-in-NW-Ohio.aspx
  11. http://www.ibtimes.com/brine-injected-meat-40-percent-salt-water-usda-300969

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Two Keys to Prepping Against Antibiotic Resistance

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Two Keys to Prepping Against Antibiotic Resistance Do you remember the first time you heard about MRSA or any other type of antibiotic resistance strain of bacteria? It was a terrifying idea. All of your life you depend on antibiotics to pull you out of some of your worst illnesses. Now, you can talk about …

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7 Serious Infections from Contaminated Food and Water

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7 Serious Infections from Contaminated Food and Water

Just Hanging Out (and I mean just hanging out)

Just Hanging Out (and I mean just hanging out)

 

Recently, I watched a few episodes of “Naked and Afraid“, a series that puts two individuals in extreme environments with few supplies and, for some reason, no clothes. In this program, many of the participants come down with various infections; some of which cause bowel disturbances. Life then becomes, well, even more miserable than walking around for three weeks naked in the jungle.

Epidemics characterized by diarrhea and dehydration have been a part of the human experience since before recorded history. Cholera is an example of one particularly dangerous infection that was epidemic in the past. It and other bacterial diseases, many of which are now rare, may once again become a problem in the uncertain future.

Off the grid, water quality is questionable and may lead to misfortune if not properly purified. Using bad water to cook food in a remote setting can also lead to major problems that manifest as diarrhea, and later, dehydration. When dehydration is not treated, deaths may occur.

typical bacteria

typical bacteria

Many diseases with diarrhea as the main symptom are caused by poor sanitation. These including the following:

Cholera: Caused by CTX, a toxin produced by the marine and freshwater bacterium Vibrio cholera. Cholera toxins produce a rapid onset of diarrhea and vomiting within a few hours to 2 days of infection. This was a major issue in Haiti after the earthquake there several years ago.

The diarrhea caused by cholera looks like water after rice has been cooked in it. In addition, victims complain of nausea, leg cramps, and other symptoms. The body water loss with cholera is so severe that it is associated with a sixty per cent death rate if untreated. Aggressive efforts to rehydrate the patient, however, drops the death rate to only one per cent. Antibiotic therapy with doxycycline or tetracycline seems to shorten the duration of illness.

typhus rash (brittanica.com)

typhus rash (brittanica.com)

Typhoid (and Typhus): Salmonella typhi is a bacterium of the Enterobacteriaceae family that is found in contaminated and undercooked food. The illness it causes is called “typh-oid fever” because it often confused with Typhus.

Typhus is a complex of diseases caused by bacteria in the Rickettsia family that is transmitted, not by contaminated food and water, but by fleas and ticks in unsanitary surroundings. Although it rarely causes severe diarrhea, Typhus can cause severe dehydration due to high fevers and other flu-like symptoms. Five to nine days after infection, a rash begins on the torso and spreads to the extremities, sparing the face, palm, and soles. Doxycycline is the drug of choice for this disease.

Typhoid rash

Typhoid rash (emergencymedicinecases.com)

Contamination with Salmonella in food (leading to typhoid fever) occurs more often than with any other bacteria in the United States, with a major outbreak in turkey meat causing more than 100 hospitalizations in 2011. In Typhoid fever, there is a gradual onset of high fevers over the course of several days. Abdominal pain, intestinal hemorrhage, weakness, headaches, and bloody diarrhea may occur. A number of people develop a spotty, rose-colored rash, hence the confusion with typhus. Ciprofloxacin  is the antibiotic of choice, but most victims improve just with rehydration therapy.

Dysentery: Caused by a number of different pathogens (disease-causing organisms), dysentery is an inflammation of the large intestine that presents with fever, abdominal pain, and severe bloody or watery diarrhea. Symptoms usually begin one to three days after exposure. Dysentery was a major cause of death among Civil War soldiers. It is a classic example of a disease that can be simply prevented with strict hand hygiene after bowel movements.

civil war hospital

civil war hospital

The most common form of dysentery in North America and Europe is caused by the bacteria Shigella and is called “bacillary dysentery”.  It is spread through contaminated food and water in crowded unsanitary conditions. Ciprofloxacin and Sulfa drugs, in conjunction with oral rehydration, are effective therapies.

Another type of dysentery is caused by an organism you may have read about in science class: the amoeba, a protozoan known as Entamoeba histolytica. Amoebic dysentery is more commonly seen in warmer climates. Metronidazole is the antibiotic of choice.

Traveler’s Diarrhea: An inflammation of the small intestine most commonly caused by the Bacterium Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli. Most strains of this bacteria are normal inhabitants of the human intestinal tract, but one (E. coli O157:H7) produces a toxin (the “Shiga” toxin) that can cause severe food poisoning. The Shiga toxin is so potentially dangerous that it has been classified as a bioterror agent.

In this illness, sudden onset of watery diarrhea, often with blood, develops within one to three days of exposure accompanied by fever, gas, and abdominal cramping. Rapid rehydration and treatment with antibiotics such as Azithromycin and Ciprofloxacin is helpful. The CDC no longer recommends taking antibiotics in advance of a journey, however, but does suggest that Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate (Bismuth Subsalicylate), two tablets four times a day, may decrease the likelihood of Traveler’s Diarrhea.

Campylobacter: The second most common cause of foodborne illness in the U.S. after Salmonella, this bacterium resides in the intestinal tract of chickens and causes sickness when meat is undercooked or improperly processed. It’s thought that a significant percentage of retail poultry products contain colonies of one particular variety, Campylobacter jejuni. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, and cramping which begins two to five days after exposure. Although controversial, Erythromycin may decrease the duration of illness if taken early.

Trichinosis: Trichinosis is Caused by the parasitic roundworm Trichinella in undercooked meat, mostly from domesticated pigs. Trichinosis causes diarrhea and other intestinal symptoms one to two days after exposure. Fever, headache, itchiness, muscle pains, and swelling around the eyes occur as much as 2 weeks later. Recovery is usually slow, even with treatment with the anti-helminthic drugs Mebendazole and Albendazole (Albenza).

beautiful but could harbor giardia

beautiful, but could harbor giardia

Giardiasis: The most common disease-causing parasite in the world is the protozoa Giardia lamblia. It has even been found in backcountry waters in many national parks in the U.S. Symptoms may present as early as one day after exposure, although it more commonly presents in one to two weeks. Patients complain of watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, violent (often called “projectile”) vomiting, and gas. Metronidazole is the drug of choice in conjunction with oral rehydration.

There are many other pathogens that can cause diarrheal disease and dehydration if untreated. Although we have listed antibiotics in this article (many of which you can read about in this website), most of the above will resolve on their own over time with strict attention to oral (or intravenous) rehydration. Without hydration support, however, the situation may become life-threatening in some cases.

An important point is that some of these illnesses may be mimicked by viruses that are unaffected by antibiotics, such as norovirus, so employ them only when absolutely necessary. The U.S. is in the midst of an epidemic of antibiotic resistance that is partly due to overuse in humans. You might be surprised when I say “partly”; close to 80% of antibiotics in the U.S. are given, not to humans, but to food-producing livestock.

recipients of most antibiotics

recipients of most antibiotics

If you see post-apocalyptic disaster movies, you’ll see a lot of gunfights at the OK corral. Certainly, this may occur in the aftermath of a major catastrophe. The most deaths will occur, however, due to failure to assure that water is clean, food is prepared properly, and human waste is safely disposed. The medic for a survival group must understand this and enforce good sanitary practices. If he/she is successful, the group will have a better chance of staying healthy even in the worst of situations.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

 

Find out more about infectious disease and much more with the 700 page Third Edition of the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way. And don’t forget to fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kits and supplies at store.doomandbloom.net.

a small first aid kit with items shown such as a tourniquet, gauze, mini compression dressings, ace, scissors and more

Motorcycle and hiking first aid kit

This Rare and Lethal Superbug Has Spread Outside of Hospitals

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By now we’re all well aware of “superbugs,” or antibiotic resistant bacteria. These terrifying pathogens present a grave threat to the future of human health, because they’ve grown immune to our best medical treatments.

But not all superbugs are created equal. Some are certainly more common than others, and certain strains carry a higher mortality risk. Perhaps the most dangerous superbug is Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacea, also known as CRE.

It’s been called a “nightmare” superbug, and is considered among the most dangerous superbugs by the World Health Organization. CRE is immune to pretty much every form of antibiotic, and typically kills half of its victims. Unlike antibiotic resistant staph infections, which are frequently mentioned in the news, you’ve probably never heard of CRE. That’s because this bacteria typically only shows up in hospital patients. It normally resides harmlessly in the gut, until certain medical procedures accidentally transfer it to the bloodstream. So long as CRE stays in that environment, it’s not something the average person has to worry about.

Unfortunately, that state of affairs has changed. Last December, six people in Colorado were infected with CRE, and miraculously they all survived. What’s so puzzling and alarming about this, is that it appears none of these individuals were infected in a hospital.

But the six people in the new report had not stayed in a health care facility for at least a year before they contracted the infection. They had not recently undergone surgery or dialysis, either, and hadn’t received any invasive devices, such as having a catheter or feeding tube inserted — all of which can be risk factors for CRE infections, the report said.

Thus, the six cases appear to be “community-associated” CRE infections, meaning the patients may have picked up these bacteria from somewhere in their everyday lives, outside of a health care setting.

CRE infections outside of a health care setting are “unusual for these bacteria,” said study researcher Sarah Janelle, a health care-associated infections epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. These six cases suggest that “these bacteria might be moving from health care to community settings,” Janelle told Live Science. “Further surveillance of CRE is needed to determine whether this pattern continues in Colorado and to determine if this trend is occurring in other parts of the United States,” Janelle said.

Pretty much the only thing these patients had in common, is that they all suffered from urinary tract infections at some point in the last two years. Considering how common UTI’s are and how long that timeline is, that doesn’t really solve the mystery of how they became infected with CRE. None of these individuals seem connected in any way.

All we know is that one of the world’s most lethal superbugs has somehow made the leap from an isolated hospital setting, to the general public. It’s a rare and frightening pathogen, that may not remain rare in the near future.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Scientists May Have Finally Found a Solution to Antibiotic Resistance

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Antibiotic-resistant superbugs may be the gravest threat to human health in the 21st century. After over-prescribing antibiotics for decades, multiple strains of bacteria are now immune to treatment. Millions of people are infected with these superbugs every year in the US, and tens of thousands die. And that’s just the beginning. We may be in the early stages of the post-antibiotic era, and if this trend isn’t reversed, superbugs may be killing more people than cancer does by the year 2050.

As you might expect, the scientific community has been desperately trying to find a solution to this crisis for some time. And fortunately, scientists have made some significant progress in recent years. In 2016 for instance, researchers from the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts discovered Teixobactin, the first antibiotic to be found in nearly 30 years. And with that discovery, they figured out an entirely new avenue of research that could bring about many more antibiotics in the near future.

Of course, that doesn’t really solve the problem with antibiotic resistant superbugs when you think about it. It only serves to kick the can down the road. It’s entirely possible that any new antibiotic that is brought to market, will be thoroughly abused by the medical and agricultural communities. New resistant strains of bacteria will emerge, and we’ll be back to square one.

What we really need is a whole new approach to using antibiotics and treating bacterial infections. Preferably, something that bacteria can’t readily adapt to. Fortunately, a researcher by the name of Dr. Bruce Geller has come up with a new treatment method that might just fit the bill.

“Bacteria will develop resistance to any one antibiotic or antimicrobial given enough time,” says Dr. Bruce Geller, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University. “Because they’ve had a 4 billion year head start in the evolution of mechanisms to adapt to changing environments, they’re very, very good at getting around any antimicrobial they might encounter.”

So rather than just coming up with a new antibiotic, which bacterial strains would surely become immune to, he’s developed a compound that when exposed to bacteria, eliminates their resistance to antibiotics.

Geller’s megaweapon is a PPMO designed to neutralize resistance mechanisms in bacteria, leaving them vulnerable to antibiotics. “This molecule can restore sensitivity to standard, already-approved antibiotics in bacteria that are now resistant to those antibiotics,” Geller says, which eliminates the need to invest time and money in developing new antibiotics. So how does this PPMO work?

A PPMO is a type of synthetic molecule that mimics DNA and can bind to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of a cell. RNA takes the information stored in the DNA of a cell, translating it into proteins that carry out the various functions of that cell.

Imagine a gene as instructions, written in a letter. Normally, the RNA receives this letter and carries out the instructions, creating the appropriate proteins. The PPMO instead intercepts the letter along the way, replacing it with one that commands the RNA to do nothing. So Geller’s team can create a PPMO that binds to the gene that produces NDM-1 — an enzyme that neutralizes antibiotics — and silences it. Suddenly, the bacterium has no defense mechanism.

Of course, PPMOs aren’t a broad, perfect solution. For instance, Geller points out that a different kind of PPMO would have to be developed for each type of infection. So this method will be mainly used when a doctor knows exactly what is afflicting a patient. Despite that, what Dr. Geller has created is probably the best solution to antibiotic resistance that has been developed so far, and is the best hope we have to stem the tide of the superbugs.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Antibiotics In Our Water Supply: The Hidden Threat

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There’s no denying it. The looming threat of drug-resistant bacteria is turning into a very real problem. In fact, antibiotic resistance is quickly becoming one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century, and a big reason for concern might be right in your tap water.

Every day, pharmaceutical drugs are contaminating water sources like groundwater, lakes, bays, and rivers, and sewage treatment plants are finding it hard to keep up. In fact, they are struggling with the impossibility of filtering out chemicals they were never designed to deal with in the first place.

You’re wrong if you think the problem won’t affect you.

Researchers have discovered that traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in the drinking water of over 40 million Americans,[i] meaning that millions of people are exposed to unregulated levels of antibiotics every day, and far too few have any idea what the sinister consequences can be.

The Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention[ii], every year an estimated 23,000 people in the United States are killed by infections that modern medicine should be able to vanquish — but it can’t. These infections are caused by drug-resistant bacteria; microbes that have been exposed to antibiotics so many times throughout previous generations that they have evolved traits that let them withstand the antibiotics designed to kill them.

The development of resistance in bacteria is a natural process and an example of “survival of the fittest” that happens to every living species that produces offspring with variable traits.

Yet the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has given bacteria more opportunities to evolve and develop antibiotic resistance.[iii] While there are many factors to blame, a big part of the problem comes from the ways that antibiotics enter the water system.

Antibiotics’ Growing Threat to Water Systems

Antibiotics transformed the world of medicine, but decades of widespread use have come at a high cost for the environment.

Since their discovery, millions of metric tons of antibiotics have been produced, used, and disposed of, and many of these drugs wind up in the water system. Unsettlingly, a nationwide study by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2000 [iv] found that 80 percent of the rivers and streams they tested had detectable levels of pharmaceuticals like antibiotics and antidepressants.

The future impact of pharmaceutical drugs on natural ecosystems is still unknown, but initial research has shown that hormone disruption, antibiotic resistance, and the development of female genitalia in male fish is already occurring. Pharmaceuticals are also messing with the gender rates of fish species, and in some places the ratio of female to male fish exceeds 10 to one.[v]

The effects for fish and amphibians is clear, but what the long-term impacts for humans exposed to this tainted water is still unknown.

How Are They Getting in the Water?

Considering the sheer number of antibiotics manufactured around the world every year, it’s no wonder that a large percentage of them wind up in water. Antibiotics wash into the general water supply from agriculture, medicine cabinet purges and even wastewater treatment plants ill-suited for dealing with them.

Antibiotics wash into the general water supply from agriculture, medicine cabinet purges and even wastewater treatment plants ill-suited for dealing with them.

(1) Antibiotic Overuse in Agriculture

Antibiotics agriculture

Whether they are necessary or not, the meat industry is notorious for over-prescribing antibiotics to livestock.

In many cases, daily servings of antibiotics are used to achieve more rapid growth rates, and a good portion of the two trillion pounds of animal manure produced in livestock production sites across the country is tainted with growth hormones and antibiotics. Because only a small amount of this manure is properly disposed of, trace amounts of antibiotics often leach into the groundwater supply or get swept into rivers and streams after rainstorms. In many cases, these levels are high enough to pose a risk.

Recent reports[vi] found that water tested near a factory farm in Nebraska had more than four times the recommended amount of trenbolone, a hormone that’s used to add weight to cattle and has been found to change the testosterone levels in fish.

(2) Disposing Medications Down the Drain

Over 60 percent[vii] of Americans are currently taking prescription drugs, and finding ways to properly dispose of expired or unwanted medications is a common problem. Many homes have medicine cabinets filled with unused and expired medication, and most of these won’t be disposed of safely.

Instead, less than 2 percent of unwanted medications are returned to the pharmacies where they came from and roughly 35 percent of medications are simply flushed down the toilet.[viii]

Nursing homes and other health care institutions are also part of the problem. While hospitals often have on-site pharmacies that are willing to take back unused drugs, many nursing homes are known to quietly flush away old medications, especially after a patient dies.

Even more worrying, some chemicals still get into the water system when medications are used exactly as intended. Human bodies only metabolize a small fraction of the drugs they take in, meaning that a good portion of the active ingredients are excreted through urine and feces or sweated out.[ix] This means that when you relieve yourself or take a shower, traces of the chemicals from your medication may wind up in the water system.

(3) Wastewater Treatment Plants

Processing antibiotic-tainted water through wastewater treatment plants doesn’t necessarily mean they’re removed from the water supply.

Deep inside the holding tanks of untreated sewage sludge, diverse communities of bacteria have time to proliferate. This muddy mixture often contains an alarming concentration of antibiotics that were either flushed down or expelled through human waste which interacts with nearby bacteria and destroys all but the most drug-resistant varieties, therefore speeding up the evolutionary process of antibiotic resistance.

Even more sinister, the soupy sludge created in wastewater treatment plants give bacteria plenty of time to mingle together, and occasionally different varieties will swap strands of DNA with each other in a process called horizontal gene transfer.[x]

This means that nonresistant bacteria can pick up resistant genes from other microbes and quickly evolve into superbugs that can’t be treated with any known antibiotics.

This means that nonresistant bacteria can pick up resistant genes from other microbes and quickly evolve into superbugs that can’t be treated with any known antibiotics.

Worst of all, these ever-evolving strains of bacteria and antibiotic drugs rarely stay contained in wastewater treatment plants.

Traditionally, treatment plants have focused on removing organic material and nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from water, and pharmaceuticals are a relatively new concern for them to deal with. While a major portion of dangerous chemicals are removed from the water system by the treatment process, facilities aren’t required to use filters for pharmaceutical chemicals.

While a major portion of dangerous chemicals are removed from the water system by the treatment process, facilities aren’t required to use filters for pharmaceutical chemicals.[xi] The laws regulating clean up procedures haven’t kept up with the influx of antibiotics on the market today, and few treatment plants are equipped to properly pull them out of the water.

Even when all but trace amounts of a pharmaceutical are removed from water, it can still be biologically active.

Research has shown that 10 percent of ibuprofen and naproxen in wastewater treatment plants is discharged out again, and even when it is properly filtered out, the medications simply become heavily concentrated in sludge instead. Because some of this sludge may eventually be released back into the environment for use as fertilizer (possibly even for food crops), the problem doesn’t go away.[xii] [xiii]

In light of these concerns, wastewater treatment plants are pursuing better ways to remove all traces of pharmaceuticals from sewage. The range of potential techniques include relying on medication-munching microbes[xiv] and treating water with ozone.[xv] However, these treatment options are still more advanced than what most plants can handle, are extremely expensive, and still can’t completely remove every trace of pharmaceuticals from treated water.

5 Ways to Reduce Pharmaceuticals  & Antibiotics in the Water System

In many ways, the best way to keep water systems safe from antibiotics is to prevent them from getting there in the first place. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll be able to prevent your share of antibiotics from tainting the water system and ensure this shared resource stays a little cleaner everyone.

  1. Limit Bulk Medication Purchases: It might be cost effective to buy your medication in bulk, but the odds are good you won’t have a chance to use it all before it expires. Buy only what you know you’ll need, and you’ll lessen the odds of ending up with big bottles of pills that need to be disposed of.
  2. Don’t Flush Medications Down the Drain: At bare minimum, don’t be guilty of putting your medications directly into the water system. Though the FDA recommends that some narcotic medications should be flushed to prevent overdoses or dangerous recreational use, there are usually drug take-back programs that will properly dispose of your medications for you.[xvi]
  3. Take Advantage of Drug Take-back Programs: In 2010, a federal law[xvii] made it easier than ever to dispose of unwanted drugs, so check out your local area for information about drug take-back days that you can be part of.
  4. Throw Away Meds Responsibly: Though decomposing in a landfill is arguably better for medications than spreading though the water system, chemicals can still leak out of the landfill and into groundwater. To carefully dispose of your meds, remove them from packaging place them in a watertight plastic bag and mix in a small amount of water so that the medication will dissolve.
  5. Start Using “Kitchen Medicine” To Treat Common Illnesses (i.e. 100% Natural Herbal Remedies):  Instead of rushing to the doctor for another prescription every time you’re sick, start learning to treat common illnesses and injuries at home with natural remedies.  And skip the pharmaceuticals entirely!

Ways to Remove Pharmaceuticals & Antibiotics from Your Water

If you’re looking for a way to make your own water safer to drink, the solution isn’t to subsist on bottled water instead. Studies have found that almost a quarter of bottled water comes directly from municipal sources, meaning most brands aren’t any safer than the water from your tap.[xviii]

Home filtration systems might not work either, and the process of oxidizing chemicals might even make your water more toxic. The exceptions are reverse osmosis and activated charcoal systems that can remove many (but not all) pharmaceutical drugs.[xix]

In Summary

At this point, scientists are only just beginning to understand the effects of pharmaceuticals on the natural world.

While they will continue to investigate the consequences of widespread antibiotic use, the evidence is clear that keeping antibiotics out of the water system is extremely important.

By educating yourself on the impacts of antibiotics in water and the ways they wind up there in the first place, you can start to take the necessary steps to keep you, your community, and the entire world safer from the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Natural antibiotic home remedy

Sources

[i] Scientific American: External Medicine: Discarded Drugs May Contaminate 40 Million Americans’ Drinking Water

[ii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[iii] European Medicines Agency: Antimicrobial Resistance

[iv] The Associated Press: Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water

[v] Emerging Wastewater Contaminant Metformin Causes Intersex and Reduced Fecundity in Fish

[vi] Identification of Metabolites of Trenbolone Acetate in Androgenic Runoff from a Beef Feedlot

[vii] Rx for America: Nearly 6 in 10 Adults Take Prescription Drugs, Study Says

[viii] Harvard Health: Drugs in the Water

[ix] Drugs can Pass Through Human Body Almost Intact: New Concerns for Antibiotic Resistance

[x] Antimicrobial Resistance Learning Site: Horizontal Gene Transfer

[xi] Scientific American: Only Half of Drugs Removed by Sewage Treatment

[xii] Cleaning Up the Breeding Ground for Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiii] Crops Absorb Livestock Antibiotics, Studies Show

[xiv] In a Tiny NY village, Bacteria Do a Big Job on Drugs in Wastewater

[xv] The Scientist: Drugging the Environment

[xvi] US Food and Drug Association: Disposal of Unused Medicine: What You Need To Know

[xvii] Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010

[xviii] The Truth About Tap

[xix] Harvard Health: Drugs in the Water

The post Antibiotics In Our Water Supply: The Hidden Threat appeared first on The Grow Network.

Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide

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Finally, a straightforward guide to help you buy antibiotic-free meat.   If you’re not raising your own livestock, here’s how you can be sure there are no antibiotics in your meat… 

Today, the steak on your plate was raised from a baby calf to butchering weight at speeds that would astound your ancestors.

“Bigger, faster, cheaper” is the mantra of the commercial meat industry, and one key to their success has been the widespread use of antibiotics.

Livestock fed a steady diet of growth-promoting antibiotics can put on weight at impressive rates, but recently scientists are sounding the alarm about the consequences of feeding these powerful medications to essentially healthy animals.

Concerned with the rising risk of antibiotic resistance, many scientists believe that feeding significant doses of antibiotics to livestock has dire rammifications for both human health and modern medicine. The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously.

The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously, modern medicine may lose its effectiveness in the next hundred years.[i]

The stakes are high, so take the time to educate yourself about the use of antibiotics for livestock to learn what’s really happening to the animals that become your dinner.

The Mixed Blessing of Antibiotics

buying antibiotic-free meat

Antibiotics are medicines that destroy bacteria, making them useful for controlling, treating and even preventing disease and infections.

In the decades since their discovery, antibiotics have saved millions of lives because simple cuts are no longer a death threat, and invasive surgeries and once unthinkable organ transplants are now routine.

Unfortunately, almost eighty years of global antibiotic use is starting to reveal some downsides.

Because antibiotics work by killing off entire populations of bacteria within your body, they essentially destroy all bacteria within range. However, bacteria are living organisms that have random genetic variances that equip a few out of millions to survive the onslaught of specific antibiotics. These surviving bacteria then become the ones that propagate, and consequently spread their resistant genes.

Over time, entire populations of bacteria become resistant to multiple forms of antibiotics, which makes them SUPERBUGS.

Because they are resistant to most common antibiotics, superbugs are incredibly difficult to control. They are responsible for an estimated 700,000 deaths annually, and that number is expected to rise to over 10 million by 2050.

For this reason, the World Health Organization recently listed antibiotic resistance as a major global threat for the 21st century.[ii]

Out Of Control:  Superbugs and the Meat Industry

sourcing antibiotic-free beef

The root of the problem of antibiotic resistance comes from an overuse of antibiotics themselves, and one of the ways that antibiotics are used carelessly is with livestock.[iii]

While humans need a prescription to gain access to antibiotics, farmers aren’t under the same requirements for their animals and can administer them with minimal regulation. In 2011, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used for animal production, which was almost four times the amount used by the national human population.[iv]

Why are so many antibiotics given to animals?

In past decades livestock producers began to use them as a preventative measure to keep their animals healthy against infectious disease, something that became increasingly important as factory farms kept animals in tight living conditions.

They later found that small daily doses of certain antibiotics made animals grow bigger and faster, often gaining as much as 3 percent more weight than otherwise possible.[v]

Consumers may like cheap meat, but feeding excessive amounts of antibiotics to animals has some dire consequences for human health.

The growing threat of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria from the overuse of these drugs can compromise the effectiveness of treatments for humans, putting the reliability of life-saving drugs at risk for the people that need them most.

China and Colistin: An Example of Bacteria Gone Bad

Antibiotics meat China

To understand the true threat of antibiotic resistance, you only need to travel over to China to get a glimpse of what the damage can be.

Recent reports have shown that Chinese strains of E. coli (a diverse, often dangerous strain of bacteria) is showing resistance to an old form of antibiotic called colistin.[vi] Discovered in the 1950s, colistin fell out of favor when antibiotics with fewer side effects were discovered. However, as preferable meditations continued to be compromised by antibiotic resistance, colistin use became widespread again. Unfortunately, even this trusted antibiotic is becoming vulnerable to E. coli superbugs.

The growing problem with colistin resistance is traced back to the Chinese meat industry, where over 8000 tons of it are given to pigs and chickens every year to enhance their growth.

Strains of resistant E. coli have been found in meat, livestock and even people around the world, and the threat is real that the colistin resistant gene in E. coli could spread to other dangerous bacteria as well. The danger doesn’t just stay near farms, either.

Manure tainted with drug-resistant bacteria often infects nearby water systems.

And flies often carry the bacteria to cities far away, sometimes even to already vulnerable hospital patients.[vii]

Sick From Tainted Meat: 

Modern medicine losing its potency has dire consequences for everyone on the planet, and the effects for your health should be a top concern.

Widespread antibiotic resistance in livestock means that dangerous pathogens aren’t always killed off before meat makes it to your plate. A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.

Antibiotics meat ecoli

A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.[viii] The situation is similar for poultry. Consumer Reports tests of chicken from 2006 and 2012 revealed that over two-thirds of their samples were contaminated with salmonella, 60 percent of which was resistant to forms of antibiotics.[ix]

Though the meat industry believes these statistics aren’t concerning, because people thoroughly cook their meat before eating it, partially raw meat, unwashed cutting boards, or thawing meat juice that leaks onto other foods in the refrigerator are all ways that pathogens can spread.[x]

More Drug-Resistant Diseases

Humans and animals swap diseases all the time. A full two-thirds of human diseases first began in animals, and drug resistance that starts with animals can also jump the species boundary.[xi]

Evidence is now growing that resistant bacteria from antibiotic treated farm animals can spread to the humans that eat them. This means that ingesting drug-resistant bacteria in meat that wasn’t fully cooked might make you ill with a disease that antibiotics are powerless to treat.[xii]

antibiotic-free meat: antibiotics in agriculture

The problem is only growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that over two million Americans become sick with drug-resistant bacteria every year, and more than 23,000 end up dying.[xiii]

The connection between the increased use of antibiotics for meat production and the loss of effectiveness of human medicine is becoming better understood, and the evidence is clear that feeding unregulated amounts of antibiotics to livestock is only going to harm human health in the long run.

The threat of looming antibiotic resistance is real, but those in authority aren’t always acting in the public interest. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,[xiv] the FDA has buried research findings that revealed 18 types of antibiotics currently used on livestock that carry a high risk of increasing the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for diseases that affect humans.

Even worse, many of these medications don’t reach the FDA’s own safety standards, yet they are used widely on livestock across the country.

Best Ways to Source Antibiotic-Free Meat:

In recent years, consumer outrage against antibiotics has created positive changes in the food industry.

Three of the largest chicken producers in America (Tyson, Perdue and Foster Farms) recently stated that they intend to reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to their healthy birds.

Large corporations like McDonald’s,[xv] Wendy’s and Popeyes are also taking a stand against fluoroquinolones (a family of synthetic antibiotics) and are refusing to buy birds that have been treated with them.[xvi]

However, there’s still no way to know for sure if these brands are sticking to their promises and keeping antibiotics out of their products.

Antibiotics chicken meat

If you want to reject antibiotics in your meat, you’ll need reliable ways to source antibiotic-free alternatives.

(Assuming you’re not ready to start raising your own livestock, which is what we ultimately recommend.)

Reading The Labels:

Antibiotic free meat

To ensure that the meat you eat doesn’t contain trace amounts of dangerous bacteria, you need to familiarize yourself with the following methods of identification.

  • Country of Origin: Depending on where your meat is sourced from, it might automatically be safe from antibiotics. Since 2006, European Union has banned farmers from using antibiotics to promote growth and instead regulates their use to treating disease only.[xvii]
  • USDA Organic: When organically-raised animals become sick, they are treated with antibiotics and sent to a conventional production system where they are no longer labeled as organic. This means that any meat product with the label USDA Organic is guaranteed to be free of antibiotics, both for promoting growth and for treating illness.[xviii]
  • ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’, ‘No Antibiotics Administered’ and Similar Variations: These labels signify that the meat in question came from animals raised without antibiotics, often in conditions comparable to organic (but uncertified). For extra reliability, look for labels accompanied by a “USDA Process Verified” shield, which ensures that the company in question paid to have their claims verified.

Labels to Avoid When Buying Antibiotic-Free Meat

There’s lots of money to be made selling shady meat, which is why healthy sounding labels that are actually meaningless abound in the supermarket. If you really want to source meat that’s free from antibiotics, be sure to avoid these convincing, yet empty, claims.

  • Antibiotic-Free: The USDA has never legally authorized the use of the term “antibiotic-free”, so if you see it on packaging it has no legal meaning.
  • Natural: The USDA meaning of natural is very loose, and only implies that the final product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain added colors or artificial ingredients. Antibiotics are fully allowed in “natural” meat, making the term meaningless if you’re trying to avoid them.
  • No Antibiotic Residues: Though this isn’t a USDA-approved claim, it’s often used on labels to refer to the fact that antibiotics were not used for the last days or weeks of the animal’s life so that traces of the chemicals would have time to naturally work themselves out. However, the label “No Antibiotic Residues” usually implies that the animal was fed significant amounts of antibiotics earlier in life.
  • No Antibiotic Growth Promotants: Not only is this claim not approved by the USDA, it’s also intentionally misleading. Animals that aren’t given antibiotics to aid their growth levels might still get them regularly to stay healthy in their crowded cages, meaning their exposure levels are far higher than the label implies.[xix]

The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is likely to only get worse.

To cut out the biggest source of antibiotic use and keep the planet safe, do what you can to buy antibiotic-free meat.  Better yet, raise your own livestock.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the continuation of modern medicine might someday depend on it.

antibiotic resistance

Sources

[i] The Biggest Threat to Modern Medicine- Antibiotic Resistance

[ii] World Health Organization: What to Do About Resistant Bacteria in the Food Chain

[iii] STAT- The Livestock Industry is Key in the Race to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

[iv] Consumers Union: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health

[v] Frontline: Modern Meat

[vi] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[vii] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[viii] The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats

[ix] Consumer Reports: The High Cost of Cheap Chicken

[x] Superbug Resistant to Last Resort Antibiotic Arises in China

[xi] 13 Animal-to-Human Diseases Kill 2.2 Million People Each Year

[xii] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xiii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiv] NRDC Petitions FDA: Agency’s Weak Attempt to Curb Antibiotic Abuse in the Livestock Industry is Failing

[xv] McDonald’s Now Serving Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics-Mostly

[xvi] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xvii] European Commission: Ban on Antibiotics as Growth Promoters in Animal Feed Enters into Effect

[xviii] USDA: Organic

[xix] Consumer Reports: Antibiotics in the Meat Industry

The post Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide appeared first on The Grow Network.

15 Natural Antibiotic Alternatives

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Are you looking for natural antibiotic alternatives that will fight off the nasty bugs without destroying your immune system in the process?

I recently released “The Miracle of Garlic” (you can get a free copy here), which explains how garlic can be used to fight common infections.

But garlic isn’t the only natural antibiotic available…

… So I’ve put together this list of 15 natural antibiotic alternatives you can try if you need to boost your immune function, eliminate infection, or recover from an illness.

Each of these holds a wallop punch against dangerous bacteria without knocking out your stomach, nervous system, or the good bacteria that help your immune system fight off infections naturally.

15 Natural Antibiotic Alternatives:
Before You Take MORE Antibiotics, Why Not Try These? 

And hey, if you’ve used any of these to prevent or treat a common illness or infection, I’d love to hear your story!

Tell me about it in the comments below…

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #1 – Garlic

Natural antibiotic alternative garlic

Ahh, garlic. That pungent-smelling, mouth-watering clove of antibiotic goodness is my #1 favorite antibiotic alternative.

Spicy, bacteria fighting, and perfect for when I want my own personal space. 😉

(If you want to learn how I take garlic to fight infection without SMELLING like garlic, be sure to grab your free copy of “The Miracle of Garlic.”)

It’s been shown beneficial for a wide range of infections and illnesses, including:

  • Common colds
  • Flus
  • Fungal skin infections
  • STDs (including genital warts)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Candidiasis
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Yeast infections
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Meningitis
  • Herpes

It has even shown promise for destroying three “nightmare superbugs”:

Robin Cherry writes, “Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it’s effective against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria…  Garlic shows promise against two of the three most dangerous bacterial infections (christened nightmare superbugs by the CDC):

Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly found in hospitals where there has the potential to weaken those whose immune systems are already compromised).” (pp 31-32)

It can help prevent food poisoning by killing E. coli and salmonella.

And it is also shown to boost immunity, helping fight off bacterial infections.

There are many reasons we call garlic “miraculous.”

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #2 – Goldenseal

Natural antibiotic alternative goldenseal root

Goldenseal is a perennial herb, also called “orange root,” native to the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.

The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine lists goldenseal as “one of the most effective of the herbal antimicrobial agents” (475).

Vaginal and bladder infections are destroyed by goldenseal.

A common winter infection—sinus infections—are treatable with goldenseal.

Goldenseal contains “berberine,” which has “been shown to inhibit the adherence of bacteria to human cells, so they cannot infect the cells” (p 959).

It is also thought to be effective in treating strep throat, diarrhea, gum disease, and pneumonia.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #3 – Licorice

Natural antibiotic alternative licorice root

The Licorice root is a super-powered natural antibiotic.

Steven Orr, in The New American Herbal, says licorice root contains “glycyrrhizic acid,” which has been shown “to treat and soothe respiratory problems like bronchitis, usually in the form of cough drops and syrup, and also arthritis” (p 225).

It is even being studied to measure its ability to treat “hepatitis, cirrhosis, herpes, and flu” (p 225).

But the most impressive attribute of licorice is that glycyrrhizic acid in licorice root is showing promise for treating the deadliest illnesses of our time: HIV-1 and SARS-related coronavirus.

It’s an antibiotic, antiviral, and delicious! 😉

It is even used to treat conditions like eczema, asthma, and Lyme Disease.

(See The Herbal Drugstore, The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (3rd Edition), and Herbal Antivirals for more about licorice root). 

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #4 – Echinacea

Echinacea has a particular scent that instantly opens up your airways. That’s how you know it is effective for colds, sinus infections, strep-throat and other respiratory issues.

The purple coneflower is pretty to grow in your garden and can be made into a tea, extract, juice, powder, or cream for treating a number of infections.

“There have been more than 300 scientific investigations on the immune-enhancing effects of Echinacea—one of the most popular herbs in the treatment of the common cold” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 437).

Paired with goldenseal, Echinacea helps knock out strep throat. It has also been used to treat a range of problems “from skin wounds to dizziness” (Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine, p 53).

The Herbal Drugstore lists treating Lyme Disease and vaginal infections among its uses.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #5 – Aloe Vera

Natural antibiotic alternative aloe vera

Perhaps you’ve already experienced the skin-soothing wonder of aloe vera gel.

But beyond its ability to soothe damaged skin, aloe vera has been shown effective in the treatment of gum disease, hypertension, angioedema (rapid swelling from trauma or allergies), asthma, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, diabetes, peptic ulcer, and other skin issues, such as psoriasis, Seborrheic Dermatitis, plaques from the shingles virus, and cuts and scrapes.

It’s ability to “inhibit the production of reactive oxygen metabolites and inflammatory mediators by human colon epithelial cells” makes it effective in treating the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease—a particularly uncomfortable and often untreatable disease (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 467).

It can also help relieve asthma symptoms in sufferers who are not dependent on corticosteroids.

(See The New American Herbal and The Herbal Drugstore for more about the antibiotic properties of aloe vera.) 

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #6 – Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil as lotion. It heals dry and broken skin and gets rid of harmful bacteria in the process. Coconut oil (and coconut milk) is a common ingredient in homemade toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, and other beauty-related products.

Coconut Oil.com says: “The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglyucerides (MTCs) found in coconut oil have been known to researchers since the 1960s.

Research has shown that microorganisms that are activated include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.”

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which can form into monolaurin in your body. Monolaurin helps attack some of the nastiest forms of bacteria.

Oil-pulling is becoming a common practice, and for good reason. Chew up a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish in your mouth like mouthwash for a while to remove bacteria, clean and whiten your teeth, prevent gum disease, and repair cavities.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #7 – Tea Tree Oil

Natural antibiotic alternative tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a well-known acne treatment.

“Tea tree oil possesses significant antiseptic properties and is regarded by many as an ideal skin disinfectant” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 250).

But did you know it’s also good for healing skin infections, relieving itchiness from rashes, soothing sun burns, treating warts, healing insect bites, treating psoriasis, and much more.

Plus, Tea Tree oil is also good for clearing vaginal infections (vaginitis) and can help treat chronic candidiasis (see The Herbal Drugstore).Be careful, though, using tea tree oil around house cats. Cats’ livers cannot process tea tree oil and if it comes into contact with their skin, it can have dangerous—even fatal—side effects.

Be careful, though, using tea tree oil around house cats. Cats’ livers cannot process tea tree oil and if it comes into contact with their skin, it can have dangerous—even fatal—side effects.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #8 – Cayenne Pepper

Natural antibiotic alternative cayenne pepper

If you like spicy food and suffer from asthma, joint and muscle pain, diabetes, psoriasis, or have a cut/scrape, you’re in luck. Cayenne pepper is good for treating all of those issues.

“The bright red fruit of the plant contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which has been found to deplete nerve cells of a chemical that helps transmit pain messages” (Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine, p 51).

Capsaicin is also shown to block “the small nerve fibers that transmit the pain” people with diabetes suffer from. “Topically applied capsaicin has been shown to be of considerable benefit in relieving the pain of diabetic neuropathy” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 541).

Capsaicin in cayenne pepper is also effective in getting rid of inflammation, which can help treat psoriasis, and helps to desensitize “airway mucosa to various mechanical and chemical irritants,” which makes it effective in preventing asthma attacks” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 335).

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #9 – Turmeric

Natural antibiotic alternative turmeric

This bright orange spice, commonly used in Indian cuisine, is good for just about everything you can think of that would normally require a trip to the hospital and the consumption of harmful antibiotics.

“Research shows turmeric reduces liver toxicity, boosts the gallbladder’s performance, helps metabolize fat and reduce bad cholesterol, and may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease” (The New American Herbal, p 319).

Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to treat osteoarthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, gallstones, and has even shown promise in treating HIV/AIDS.

Curcumin has been “shown to inhibit HIV integrase, the enzyme that integrates a double-stranded DNA copy of the RNA genome, synthesized by reverse transcriptase into a host chromosome” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 260).

It is an effective anti-inflammatory, which makes it effective in treating psoriasis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and sports injuries.

Add it to recipes, make it into tea, or brush your teeth with a combination of turmeric and coconut oil to whiten and fortify your teeth.  You can also add honey and hot water to help soothe symptoms of the common cold (particularly inflammation in your lymph nodes).

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #10 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Natural antibiotic alternative apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar contains malic acid, an antibiotic substance. “It’s a virtual infusion of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals” (The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, 297).

According to Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, authors of Healing Remedies, Apple cider vinegar can treat a whole host of problems: arthritis, first-degree burns, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, fatigue, aches and pains, dry hair/scalp, rough skin, headaches, shingles virus, indigestion, itchy skin, sprains, cold sores, urinary tract infection, etc. Anything skin or respiratory tract related can be treated or improved with apple cider vinegar.

Drink apple cider vinegar with hot water, lemon, and honey to break up mucus and infection in your sinuses and relieve a sore throat. Break up that infected mucus and blow it out and away.

Apple cider vinegar is also shown to “improve insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects,” which means it is an effective treatment for diabetes. “This makes apple cider vinegar a powerful natural weapon, along with cinnamon and chromium, in the fight to control blood sugar and help get carbohydrate metabolism on track” (The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, 298).

Be aware that apple cider vinegar can have some adverse effects if you take certain medications.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #11 – Ginger

Natural antibiotic alternative ginger root

Upset stomach?  Stomach flu? Drink some ginger tea.

But that’s not all ginger is good for!

“Research conducted at RMG Biosciences of Baltimore showed that extracts of ginger and galangal, a member of the ginger family, helped inhibit the manufacture of inflammatory brain chemicals, and in turn slowed down the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s” (The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing, p 88).

It has also been shown “effective in reducing the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis” (150).

Green MedInfo.com references dozens of scientific studies and says, “At least one study that compares the effects of ginger and antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureua and S. pyreus infections shows that ginger extract may be superior…Ginger has been shown to have an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.”

The Herbal Drugstore lists the following as treatable with ginger: angina, arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis, cervical dysplasia, colds and flu, ear infections, flatulence, headache, heart disease, hives, indigestion, intermittent claudication, intestinal parasites, morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, Raynaud’s phenomenon, sinus infections, sports injuries, and stroke. 

In addition, ginger has antiviral benefits, which means it is able to treat “viral infections including colds, influenza, hepatitis, herpes, yellow fever, measles, chicken pox, and enterovirus” (Herbal Antivirals, p 172).

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #12 – Grapefruit Seed Extract

Natural antibiotic alternative grapefruit seed extract

Need to treat a nasty wart? Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is your natural remedy.

The Herbal Drugstore lists acne, canker sores, cuts and scrapes, diarrhea, ear infections, and fungal skin infections as treatable by grapefruit seed extract.

Grapefruit seed extract is a powerful antibiotic: “In one study, drops of concentrated grapefruit-seed extract were tested for antibacterial properties against a number of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.  The researchers concluded that GSE was comparable to ‘proven topical antibacterials. Although the GSE appeared to have a somewhat greater inhibitory effect on gram-positive organisms than on gram-negative organisms, its comparative effectiveness against a wide range of bacterial biotypes is significant.’”  (The Healthy Home Economist)

Grapefruit seed extract can also help combat fatigue.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #13 – Oregano Oil

Natural antibiotic alternative oregano oil

Oregano oil has been shown effective in treating tonsillitis and other bacterial infections. Dr. Axe calls it “the ultimate natural antibiotic.”

In essential oil form, oregano oil is particularly effective: “Essential oil components are fundamentally different [from antibiotics]. Their nonselective activity makes it practically impossible for microorganisms to develop resistance. Microorganisms may be able to resist the attack on one of their targets, but this leases all the other targets of the essential oil still vulnerable” (The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 47).

Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, which both “have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties” (Dr. Axe).

Hundreds of studies on PubMed have proven carvacrol able to treat bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasites, viruses, inflammation, candida, allergies, and tumors. It has also been shown to kill E. Coli bacteria, cancer cells, and five other types of harmful bacteria.

Use oregano oil to treat foot or nail fungus, parasites and infections, and sinus infections.

Be careful about applying oregano oil directly to your skin as it may cause irritation. 

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #14 – Honey

Natural antibiotic alternative honey

We’ve read the studies that claim bacteria can protect each other and resist antibiotics, but honey breaks up bacteria as it kills it, making it impossible for bacteria to evolve into resistant strains.

Healing Remedies lists honey as a key component in treating hay fever, asthma, cuts and scratches, sore throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, cough, Emphysema, cataracts, fatigue, athletes foot, leg cramps, headaches, heart conditions, indigestion, acne, sores and lesions, skin problems, sleep disorders, stress, tension, and anxiety, teeth, gum, and mouth issues, and ulcers.

Eating local honey can also help alleviate allergies to local pollen, as the pollen is used to make the honey. Ingesting it can help you become immune to the pollen in the air.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #15 – Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one natural antibiotic we should always have on hand, particularly when traveling and have an increased potential of contracting bacterial infections:

“The antibacterial effects of Cinnamon Bark oil make it one of the best options when a person encounters violent bacterial infections of the intestinal tract, especially while traveling in unfamiliar territory!” (The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, p 73).

The Herbal Drugstore claims that the cinnamon spice is antifungal and “inhibit fungi that commonly infect the skin. It is also a key ingredient in natural cough syrup.

Use cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil as a powerful anti-infectious blend. Cinnamon is also helpful to reduce or prevent intestinal issues.

So there you have it, 15 natural antibiotic alternatives.

Use these instead of the dangerous prescription chemicals that can damage your body and produce resistant bacteria “superbugs.”

Comment with your experiences using natural antibiotics, and do share this list with friends!

References:

American Family Physician. “Health Effects of Garlic.” Accessed Marcy 24, 2017. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0701/p103.html.

Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., Jonny. The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why. Fair Winds Press, 2008.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. Massachusetts: Storey Publishing, 2013.

Cherry, Robin. Garlic: An Edible Biography. Boston: Roost Books, 2014.

Coconut Oil. “Coconut Oil Offers Hope for Antibiotic-Resistant Germs.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-offers-hope-for-antibiotic-resistant-germs/.

Dr. Axe. “Oregano Oil Benefits Superior to Prescription Antibiotics.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. https://draxe.com/oregano-oil-benefits-superior-prescription-antibiotics/.

Food Matters. “Discover Why Honey is Still The Best Antibiotic.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.foodmatters.com/article/discover-why-honey-is-still-the-best-antibiotic.

Green Med info. “Ginger’s Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/node/83545.

Health Care Above All. “This is The Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic Ever—Kills Any Infections in the Body.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.healthcareaboveall.com/this-is-the-most-powerful-natural-antibiotic-ever-kills-any-infections-in-the-body-1/.

Mars, Brigitte, and Chrystle Fiedler. The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. Massachusetts: Fair Winds Press, 2015.

Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine: Integrating the best of natural therapies with conventional medicine. 2nd ed. New York: Time Inc., 2010.

Murray, N.D., Michael T. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. 3rd Edition. New York: Atria, 2012.

Orr, Stephen. The New American Herbal. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2014.

Schnaubelt, Ph.D., Kurt. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press, Vermont: 2011.

The Healthy Home Economist. “The 11 Best Natural Antibiotics and How to Use Them.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-to-use-best-natural-antibiotics/.

White, MD, Linda B. and Steven Foster. The Herbal Drugstore: The Best Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medicines! Rodale Inc., 2000.

Wilen, Joan and Lydia Wilen. Healing Remedies. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008.

The post 15 Natural Antibiotic Alternatives appeared first on The Grow Network.

The Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance

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The growing threat of antibiotic resistance and “superbugs” is an issue I’ve been raising the red flag about for just over two years.

And I know many of you already understand the threat is real.

But it can be hard to explain to friends and colleagues who I’ve noticed often roll their eyes and assume I must be exaggerating.

The antibiotic apocalypse?  The end of modern medicine? 

“Impossible” is the reaction I often get.

So for those of you, like me, who are trying to educate friends and family on the gravity of the situation, I’ve put together this “news reel” highlighting some of the biggest headlines from a variety of sources over the last 18 months.

(You can add any links I’ve missed in the comments below!)

And be sure to share this page with friends and family.

In The News:  Antibiotic Resistance
Over The Last 18 Months


Peer Into The Post-Apocalyptic Future of Antimicrobial Resistance
– WIRED, March 18, 2017

QUOTE:  “The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) determined that, left unchecked, in the next 35 years antimicrobial resistance could kill 300,000,000 people worldwide and stunt global economic output by $100 trillion.  

There are no other diseases we currently know of except pandemic influenza that could make that claim. In fact, if the current trend is not altered, antimicrobial resistance could become the world’s single greatest killer, surpassing heart disease or cancer.”


Superbug Drug Launched to Fight Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance
– Independent UK, March 14, 2017

QUOTE: “Doctors are ‘running out of options’ for treating common infections caused by bacteria which mutate to resist regular antibiotics, said microbiologist Matthew Dryden. ‘Resistance is increasing, almost exponentially. It’s a problem facing every emergency department in this country,’ he told The Independent.”


New Drugs Alone Won’t Defeat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
– Health Line March 14, 2017

QUOTE: Bacterium have been on Earth longer than humans and have shown an incredible ability to adapt to their surroundings, they said.  ‘‘We can’t count on drug development to keep us one step ahead,’ said Norman. ‘We need to be humble about this.”


 UFU Takes Action on Antibiotic Resistance
– Ulster Farmers Union, March 14, 2017

QUOTE: The immediate concern is to prolong the effectiveness of current antibiotics. We want to see strategies implemented that will secure these vital medicines for the future,” said Mr Doupe.”


Curing The ‘Addiction’ Of Antibiotic Resistance
– Huffington Post Canada, Mar 13, 2017

QUOTE: “Letting the public know they are enabling microbial addicts when they overuse, misuse, and abuse antibiotics may lead to a change of mindset. People may even think twice about asking for an antibiotic at the doctor’s office or perhaps not purchase meat from animals raised on antibiotics.”


 The Science of Healthy Microbiomes to Address the Threat of Antibiotic Resistance and Weight Gain
– News-Medical.net, March 13, 2017

QUOTE: “According to Margaret Chan, former WHO Director General, “a post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know itThings as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”


Deadly Fungal Infection that Doctors Have Been Fearing Now Reported in U.S.
– The Washington Post, March 10, 2017

QUOTE: “‘These pathogens are increasing, they’re new, they’re scary and they’re very difficult to combat,’ said Anne Schuchat, CDC’s acting director, during a briefing in Washington this week about the growing danger from antimicrobial resistance.”


GOP Health Care Bill Would Cut CDC Fund to Fight Killer Diseases
– NBC News, March 8, 2017

QUOTE: “‘We don’t have a lot of time,’ Schuchat said. ‘Resistance is a problem now, because it is a threat to modern medicine itself.’ Bugs are evolving into forms that cannot be treated with any drugs, and no new classes of drugs are on the horizon.”


 Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance
– Center for Disease Control, March 8, 2017

 QUOTE: “However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.

 Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.” 


This Scientist Sent A Superbug To Space To Help Life On Earth
– Huffington Post, March 7, 2017

QUOTE: “MRSA’s ability to mutate rapidly and unpredictably means it outpaces scientists’ ability to develop drugs that kill it. In turn, MRSA kills more Americans each year than AIDS – many of them children.



 Warning Over Highly-Contagious Superbug Sweeping the Nation
– Edinburgh News, March 7, 2017

QUOTE: “The team of investigators discovered a new variant of the well-known gene that causes resistance to polymyxin – currently the toughest antibiotic in our arsenal against bacteria.

The new multidrug-resistant bacteria, which carries the gene variant, was found on a patient with salmonella and could easily be passed on in bacteria.  More troubling, the gene was found in a healthy individual during a routine medical, suggesting that other healthy carriers may be spreading the resistance unknowingly.”


 ALERT: Air Pollution Could Promote Antibiotic-Resistant Respiratory Infections
– Nature World News, March 6, 2017

QUOTE: “The researchers found that black carbon, a major component of air pollution, alters the way how the bacteria grow and from communities. These changes could influence survival rate of the bacteria on the lining of respiratory tracts and how well they could hide or combat the body’s immune system.”


The Superbug Dirty Dozen
– The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2017

QUOTE: The World Health Organization published a medical most-wanted list this week on 12 dangerous ‘superbugs,’ and the warning spotlights the growing threat of bacteria that can resist all or nearly all antibiotics. Ominously, deadly microbes are outpacing science’s capacity to develop new human defenses.”


How to Solve a Problem like Antibiotic Resistance
– Science Daily, March 3, 2017

QUOTE: “‘If bacteria continue developing resistance to multiple antibiotics at the present rate, at the same time as the antibiotic pipeline continues to dry up, there could be catastrophic costs to healthcare and society globally,” said senior co-author on one of the articles, Dr Tony Velkov, an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow from Monash University, Victoria, Australia.”


 Diesel Fumes Making Lung Diseases More Antibiotic Resistant
– Wakefield Express, March 3, 2017

QUOTE: “This has implications for the treatment of infectious diseases, which are known to be increased in areas with high levels of air pollution.  And they warned high pollution in major cities and urban areas will have a serious impact on people’s health unless efforts are made to clean up this toxic smog.”


Hospital Room Floors May Harbor ‘Superbugs’
– WebMD, March 2, 2017

QUOTE: “In their study, the team took samples from the floors of 159 patient rooms in five Cleveland-area hospitals and found that many were contaminated with infection-causing bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile.” 


Battling Superbugs with Big Data
– Live Mint, March 2, 2017

QUOTE: “New virtual marketplaces have made the entire drug distribution process an opportunity for unchecked financial gains by irresponsible actors. The lack of awareness among patients regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics has led to self-medication and non-adherence to the prescribed course of antibiotics, further intensifying the problem.”


 Antibiotic Resistance Could Lead to Pneumonia and TB Returning to Ireland
– Irish Mirror, March 2, 2017

 QUOTE: “Antibiotic resistance has been directly linked to outbreaks of superbugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.”


 Bacteria Can Protect Each Other: a New Challenge in Antibiotic Resistance
– Libotech Europe, March 1, 2017

QUOTE: “This study may explain why physicians sometimes encounter antibiotic-susceptible bacteria in patients that did not respond to antibiotics. It also highlights the necessity of administering antibiotics with caution. Now we know that healthy microbes in our organism can develop resistance mechanisms they could use to protect pathogens in future infections.


 Penicillin: Miracle Drug Turns Into Weak Antibacterial Due To Superbugs
– The Science Times, March 1, 2017

QUOTE: “However due to drug misuse and improper compliance of antibiotic use: resistant bacteria, antibiotic resistant or “superbug” has emerged. Science Daily defined antibiotic resistance as the ability of any microorganism to tolerate or withstand the effect of anti-infective drugs. Improper diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, and use of antibiotics in livestock are also few of the contributing factors.”



UTIs Are Becoming Untreatable With the Rise of Antibiotic Resistance
– PBS, March 1, 2017

QUOTE: “Almost half of all women will acquire a urinary tract infection (UTI) at least once in their lifetime. Normally, antibiotics are highly effective in treating UTIs. But without antibiotics, the infection can spread into the kidneys or the bloodstream, causing severe illness. 

Now, a new list released by the World Health Organization indicates that E. coli, a leading cause of UTIs, is becoming resistant to some antibiotics.”


 WHO Stresses Urgent Need for R&D for Drug-Resistant TB Alongside Newly-Prioritized Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens
– World Health Organization, February 28, 2017

QUOTE: “The MDR-TB public health crisis continues: there were an estimated 580 000 cases and 250 000 related deaths in 2015. Only 125 000 were started on treatment, and just half of those people were cured.”


 WHO Superbug List: Enemy No. 1 Is Bug That Plagues Soldiers
– NBC News, February 28, 2017

QUOTE: “The list also includes carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae or CRE — the germs that former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden called ‘“nightmare bacteria.’ “Certainly Acinetobacter are something that we have seen in our returning military service people,” said Dr. Helen Boucher of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.”


Air Pollution Alters Staphylococcus Aureus and Streptococcus Pneumoniae Biofilms,  Antibiotic Tolerance and Colonization
– Wiley Online Library, February 28, 2017

 QUOTE: “Our results show that black carbon impacts bacterial colonisation in vivo. In a mouse nasopharyngeal colonisation model, black carbon caused S. pneumoniae to spread from the nasopharynx to the lungs, which is essential for subsequent infection.”


Superbug to Make Stomach Ulcers ‘Trickier’
– News.com Australia, February 28, 2017

QUOTE: “The relatively simple treatment of a common yet potentially deadly stomach condition, made possible because of two Australian Nobel laureates, is under threat by a ‘high priority’ superbug.  Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori) was on Tuesday listed by the World Health Organisation as one of 12 bacterium posing the greatest threat to human health because of their resistance to antibiotics.”


Deadly, Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Pose Huge Threat, W.H.O. Says
– The New York Times, February 27, 2017

QUOTE: “We are fast running out of treatment options,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the W.H.O. assistant director general who released the list. “If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.”


Deadly Superbugs Found on Phones, Laptops and ATMs
– Newstalk, February 26, 2017

QUOTE: “Results detected traces of the deadly superbug MRSA on the hot water dispenser in a public canteen, on toilet doors, waste bin lids and on the screens and covers of mobile phones. Faecal matter was also found on toilet door handles.”


FDA Bans Chemicals Linked to Antibiotic Resistance From Soap
– Salon, February 25, 2017

QUOTE: “Not only does research suggest that antimicrobial products are ineffective at reducing microbes on the product, but several studies also suggest they may be causing an increase in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant infections, such as MRSA, cause an estimated 23,000 deaths every year in the United States.”


Hospital Superbugs Cases Soar After Thousands of NHS Cleaners are Axed in ‘Theresa May’s Funding Squeeze’ ­
– Mirror UK, February 25, 2017

QUOTE: “A new Oxford University study has found the risk of MRSA infection is 50% higher in hospitals which outsource cleaning.”


Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Infections on the Rise for Children in the U.S., Study Finds
– Washington Post, February 25, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Antibiotic resistance increasingly threatens our ability to treat our children’s infections,’ said Sharon Meropol, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.



First Systematic Study of Deadly, Antibiotic-Resistant Fungus Reported
– Science Daily, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “The deadly fungus, Candida auris, which has been found in hospitals, is resistant to entire classes of antimicrobial drugs, limiting treatment options for those infected. Microbiologists have provided previously uninvestigated details pertaining to C. auris drug resistance and growth patterns.”


Scientists Are Creating a Genetic Chainsaw to Hack Superbug DNA to Bits
– Gizmodo, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “‘What we’re trying to do is kill bacteria,’ Rodolphe Barrangou, a molecular biologist at North Carolina State University, told Gizmodo. ‘It’s like a Pac-Man that’s going to chew up DNA rather than make a clean cut. It chews it up beyond repair. It’s lethal.’”


Study Tracks How Superbugs Splash Out of Hospital Sink Drains
– NBC News, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “Antibiotic-resistant superbug bacteria grow up hospital drains and can splash out into sinks and onto counters, researchers reported Friday.   Their experiment helps explain just how such germs cause outbreaks of disease in hospitals. And it also demonstrates just how hard it will be to prevent this kind of spread, because the bacteria are especially difficult to kill when they are growing in pipes.”


Superbug Concerns Keep Spreading
– Lifezette, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “Disease and safety experts from the European Union warned this week that superbug bacteria found in people, animals, and food across the E.U. pose an ‘alarming’ threat to public and animal health. The reason: a growing resistance to widely used antibiotics.”


Rise in Resistant Infections in Children, Longer Hospital Stays
– United Press International, February 23, 2017

QUOTE: “Over the eight-year study period, antibiotic-resistant infections increased from 0.2 percent in 2007 to 1.5 in 2015, a more than 700 percent increase, according to researchers.  Researchers found children with Enterobacteriaceae infections resistant to multiple antibiotics had 20 percent longer hospital stays than patients that did not have antibiotic-resistant infections.”


 EU WARNING: Evolved Superbug Found in Humans Poses ‘Alarming Threat’ to Public Health
– Express Europe, February 22, 2017

QUOTE: “‘We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts.’  Resistance to ‘carbapenem’ antibiotics was also detected for the first time in animals and food – albeit at low levels.”


Incidence and Outcomes of Infections Caused by Multidrug-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Children, 2007–2015
– Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Published February 22, 2017 

QUOTE: “Infections with Gram-negative enteric bacilli are becoming increasingly difficult to treat; considering the global burden of these antimicrobial-resistant organisms, interventions to curtail or even reverse this trend are needed urgently.”


‘Alarming’ Superbugs a Risk to People, Animals and Food, EU Warns
– Reuters, February 22, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger,’ said Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU’s health and food safety commissioner.  ‘We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts.’”


Genetic Mutations That Drive Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria
– Science Daily, February 21, 2017   

QUOTE: “The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is challenging clinicians, with some infections already resistant to nearly all available drugs. A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that such infections kill at least 23,000 people each year in the United States alone.”


How Travel Helps Antibiotic Resistance Spread Around The World
–  Huffington Post Canada, February 20, 2017

QUOTE: “While the target of the symptoms may be eliminated, the use of antibiotics may allow for colonization of the gastrointestinal tract with antibiotic resistant bacteria. As a result, the traveler unexpectedly may end up being an importer of a public health threat.”


 Superbugs Rampant in China’s Poultry Products, Study Shows
– South China Morning Post, February 18, 2017

QUOTE: “The researchers traced the spread of the bacteria from slaughterhouse to hatcheries. The highest detection rate was recorded in chicken farms, where 97 per cent of samples were contaminated. Professor Timothy Walsh of Cardiff University, a lead scientist for the study, said people in China should watch what they eat.”


 Online Pharmacies Are Breeding Grounds For Antibiotic Resistance
– Vocativ, February 17, 2017

QUOTE: “But even if the antibiotics are used correctly and taken at the right dose for the right amount of time, there’s still the more basic question of how many users should be taking these antibiotics at all, as every unnecessary antibiotic treatment chips away at the drugs’ effectiveness.”


British Scientists Discover how Deadly Bacteria Survive a Last-Line Antibiotic
– Labiotech Europe, February 16, 2017

QUOTE: “Scientists from the Queen’s University in Belfast and the University of Queensland in Australia have finally identified the precise molecular mechanism by which this organism resists colistin, a last-line antibiotic used to treat MDR infections. This discovery could help researchers find new ways to fight deadly infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”


Stopping the Superbug Spread
– World Health.net, February 13, 2017

QUOTE: “Overuse of antibiotic drugs let bacteria build resistance thus becoming superbugs. In the United States, patients in hospitals have a 1 in 7 chance of getting sick with a superbug, and half of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions are deemed unnecessary. Every year, two million people become sick with antibiotic resistant bacteria. One of the top drug-resistant bacteria causes diarrhea and is called C. difficile and its existence is the result of antibiotic overuse. This infection will kill over 15000 people every year.”


 The Microbes Fight Back: Antibiotic Resistance
– The Royal Society of Chemistry, GB, February 11, 2017

QUOTE: “This book does highlight that microbial resistance is a global challenge and that we have a long way to go before we can, as US Surgeon General William H Stewart once said, ‘close the book on infectious diseases and declare the war against pestilence won’.”



Common Weed Could Help Fight Deadly Superbug, Study Finds
– The Washington Post, February 10, 2017

QUOTE: “Researchers from Emory University and the University of Iowa found that extracts from the Brazilian peppertree, which traditional healers in the Amazon have used for hundreds of years to treat skin and soft-tissue infections, have the power to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in mice. The study was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.”


Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Flies
– PBS, February 9, 2017

QUOTE: “Flies at poultry farms in China were loaded with bacteria containing genes for antibiotic resistance, the team discovered. The same team also found E. coli containing mcr-1, a gene that imparts resistance to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, in 1% of hospital patients in two of China’s large cities, neither of which have a history of using colistin to treat humans.”


Antibiotic Tolerance Facilitates the Evolution of Resistance
– Science Magazine, February 9, 2017

QUOTE: “We found that in all cases tolerance preceded resistance. A mathematical population-genetics model showed how tolerance boosts the chances for resistance mutations to spread in the population. Thus, tolerance mutations pave the way for the rapid subsequent evolution of resistance. Preventing the evolution of tolerance may offer a new strategy for delaying the emergence of resistance.”


Flies Are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance from Farms to People
– New Scientist, February 6, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Their ability to contaminate the environment has immense public health concerns,’ the team concludes. It may be why hospital patients who lived far away from farms were not less likely to have a resistant infection during summer, says Walsh. ‘In the summer flies will carry those bacteria everywhere.’”


Exactly How Bad is Antibiotic Resistance Right Now? A Woman in the US Recently Died from a Superbug that no Antibiotics Could Treat
– Popular Science, February 3, 2017

QUOTE: “People in the United States have been infected by pan-resistant bacteria before. ‘It’s not the first time that there has been an untreatable bacterial infection in the US,’ says James Hughes, co-director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center in Atlanta. ‘This particular case…is an extreme example of how bad it can get.’” 


Report: Antibiotic Resistance Rising in Europe
– Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, February 1, 2017

QUOTE: “According to the report, more than half of the E coli isolates reported to EARS-Net in 2015 were resistant to at least one class of the antimicrobials tested, while more than a third of the K pneumoniae isolates showed resistance to at least one antimicrobial drug.”


Rare E. coli ‘Superbug’ Found in LA County Patient Marks a First for California
– LA Daily News, January 31, 2017

QUOTE: “But the concern is that the “superbug,” known as mcr-1, has shown to be resistant to an antibiotic known as colistin, which is deemed one of the few “last resort” antibiotics “used to treat infections caused by certain multi-drug resistant organisms,” according to the alert.”


The Unconstrained Evolution of Fast and Efficient Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Genomes
– Springer Nature, January 30, 2017

QUOTE: “Evolutionary trajectories are constrained by trade-offs when mutations that benefit one life history trait incur fitness costs in other traits. As resistance to tetracycline antibiotics by increased efflux can be associated with an increase in length of the Escherichia coli chromosome of 10% or more, we sought costs of resistance associated with doxycycline.”


Bacteria with Antibiotic Resistance Mutations Reproduce Faster than Non-mutated Bacteria
– Natural Science News, January 30, 2017

QUOTE: “Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem that can be incredibly harmful to people with bacterial infections. When bacteria develop a resistance to modern drugs, doctors are left with fewer options for treating their patients. In some cases, bacteria become immune to all common antibiotics and these strains are a serious public health risk. Scientists have frequently studied the evolution of antibiotic resistance in an attempt to solve the problem.”


Antibiotic Resistance on the Rise: Superbug Infections Found in Chinese Hospitals
– Salon, January 27, 2017

QUOTE: “People infected with these resistant strains can usually be treated with current antibiotics, but doctors warn that as these bacteria — which are already untreatable with last-resort drugs — acquire resistance to current drugs, the infections may become impossible to treat.”


We Told You So: Antibiotic Resistance & The Food Supply
– American Free Press, January 27, 2016

QUOTE: “Valentine quoted the Union of Concerned Scientists, who issued a stern warning: ‘Tetracycline, penicillin, erythromycin, and other antimicrobials that are important in human use are used extensively in the absence of disease for nontherapeutic purposes in today’s livestock production. Cattle, swine, and poultry are routinely given antimicrobials throughout much of their lives.’”


 The Attack Of The Superbugs
– Vocativ, January 27, 2017

QUOTE: “Samples from one of her infected wounds had tested positive for a bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae that was at least partly resistant to all 14 available antibiotics the hospital had in stock. The CDC, brought in for more testing, additionally found her passenger was truly resistant to at least a whopping 26 antibiotics found in the U.S., including the aptly-called ‘last resort’ drugs colistin and tigecycline.”


Antibiotic Overuse Behind ‘Superbug’ Outbreak
– WebMD, January 25, 2017

QUOTE: “Overuse of fluoroquinolones enabled antibiotic-resistant C. difficile to thrive because non-resistant bugs in the gut were killed off by the antibiotics. This left the way clear for rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant C. difficile, the researchers explained.”


 A Deadly Superbug Appears To Be Invading America’s Hospitals
– STAT, January 23, 2017

QUOTE: “Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has dubbed CREs ‘nightmare bacteria.’ That’s because they are resistant to many, and sometimes most, antibiotics, including carbapenems, an important class of last-resort drugs. 

They also have the capacity to transfer resistance genes from one family to the next — for instance from E. coli bacteria to Klebsiella pneumoniae. Think of it as gangs in a neighborhood teaching each other all their worst tricks.”


Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Are Spreading
– Consumer Reports, January 19, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Our healthcare facilities are our first—and possibly our only—line of defense,’ says McGiffert. ‘This research underscores how critically important it is for them to take concrete steps now to contain these deadly superbugs before they spread more widely.’”



Think Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Super-Bugs’ are Only a Distant Threat? Think Again.
– Public Radio International, January 17, 2017

QUOTE: “‘I think this is the harbinger of future badness to come,’ said Dr. James Johnson, a professor of infectious diseases medicine at the University of Minnesota and a specialist at the Minnesota VA Medical Center.

Other scientists are saying this case is yet another sign that researchers and governments need to take antibiotic resistance seriously. It was reported Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal published by the CDC.”


Drug-Resistant Superbug May be More Widespread Than Previously Known
 – CNN, January 17, 2017

QUOTE: “In fact, transmission of these bacteria person-to-person may be occurring without symptoms, say the researchers, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute.”


A Superbug That Resisted 26 Antibiotics
– NPR, January 17, 2017

QUOTE: “Then, if CRE or other resistant infections are diagnosed, the hospital can set up appropriate precautions, like isolating the patient, and immediately start lab tests to try to find an effective antibiotic.

 But in this case, there was no effective antibiotic. ‘And we’re going to see more of these, from a drip, drip, drip of cases to a steady drizzle to a rainstorm,’ predicts Johnson. ‘It’s scary, but it’s good to get scared if that motivates action.’”


Resistance to the Antibiotic of Last Resort Is Silently Spreading
– The Atlantic, January 12, 2017

QUOTE: “To be clear, these E. coli with mcr-1 found in China were still susceptible to antibiotics other than colistin, but if a bacterium with genes that make it resistant to every other drug then picks up mcr-1, you get the nightmare scenario: a pan-resistant bacteria. These drug- resistant infections usually happen in people who are already sick or have weakened immune systems.”


How Do Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Survive Antibiotics Without Resistance Genes?
– Contagion Live, December 30, 2016

QUOTE: “As multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens continue to vex healthcare settings around the world, researchers work to understand the adaptations that make these superbugs so resistant. Now, in one new study, a team of scientists have identified how bacteria are able to evade the effects of antibiotic drugs.”


Bill Gates: World Faces Decade at Risk from Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs
– The Guardian, December 30, 2016 

QUOTE: “‘I cross my fingers all the time that some epidemic like a big flu doesn’t come along in the next 10 years,’ Gates told a special edition of Radio 4’s Today programme guest-edited by Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England.”


Antibiotic Resistance just Became More Complex
– Phys.org, December 27, 2017

QUOTE: “Bacteria that are susceptible to antibiotics can survive when enough resistant cells around them are expressing an antibiotic-deactivating factor. This new take on how the microbial context can compromise antibiotic therapy was published by a team of microbiologists from the University of Groningen microbiologists, together with colleagues from San Diego, in the journal PLOS Biology on 27 December.”


 How Hospitals, Nursing Homes Keep Lethal ‘Superbug’ Outbreaks Secret
– Reuters, December 22, 2016 

QUOTE: “The outbreak and the way it was handled expose what a Reuters investigation found to be dangerous flaws in U.S. efforts to control the spread of superbug infections. An examination of cases across the country reveals a system that protects the healthcare facilities where superbugs thrive, while leaving patients, their families and the broader public ignorant of potentially deadly threats.”


NARMS—Combating Antibiotic Resistance with Surveillance
– Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Last Updated December 16, 2016

QUOTE: “Any use of antibiotics can lead to resistance. However, when animals are given antibiotics for growth promotion or increased feed efficiency, bacteria are exposed to low doses of these drugs over a long period of time. This type of exposure to antibiotics may lead to the survival and growth of resistant bacteria. This is inappropriate antibiotic use.”


Antibiotic Resistance Will Hit a Terrible Tipping Point in 2017
– New Scientist, December 14, 2016

QUOTE: “This will mean more resistant bacteria, which could be a big threat. The livestock industry has long played down any risk to human health caused by using antibiotics in farming, but the danger is now accepted, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).”


Superbugs Killing Twice as Many People as Government Says
– The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, December 11, 2016

QUOTE: “The growth in infections that are resistant to antibiotics (also known as anti-microbial resistance, or AMR) is one of the biggest health crises facing the world today. Scientists have warned the world is on the cusp of a “post-antibiotic era” – where everyday infections will become untreatable and potentially fatal – unless concerted global action is taken.”


Why Drug-Resistance Genes Are Showing Up In Smog
– Time Magazine, December 8, 2016

QUOTE: “Not only did Larsson and his colleagues find evidence that genes linked to antibiotic resistance can be present in the air, but they also found a high amount of the genes in areas where there’s a lot of pollution from antibiotic manufacturing. Waste from manufacturing plants can end up in water sources, as Larsson has found in other research.”


Phages Carry Antibiotic Resistance Genes
– The Scientist, December 8, 2016

QUOTE: “The study makes ‘a pretty strong case that antibiotic resistance genes really do exist in the virome,’ said Andrew Singer of the UK Natural Environmental Research Council’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who was not involved in the work.”


New Kind of Antibiotic Resistance Shows Up on a Hog Farm
– Scientific American, December 7, 2016

QUOTE: “No one is sure where these resistance genes came from or how they got to the farm but researchers have ideas. “The most logical source would be a hospital, where carbapenems are frequently used and CRE are not uncommon,” Wittum says. Farm workers might, for instance, carry CRE home from a hospital visit and then deposit the bacteria on farm equipment.”


 Antibiotic Resistant Infections Kill 23,000 Americans Each Year, Sicken 2 Million
– EcoWatch December 6, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Livestock use of antibiotics is contributing to a public health crisis of antibiotic resistance,’ said Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior health officer and physician David Wallinga, MD. ‘It’s you, me and the people we love who will suffer the consequences when the medications we rely on to treat common illnesses no longer work.’”



Rare Superbug Gene Discovered on U.S. Pig Farm
– NBC News, December 6, 2016

QUOTE: “Carbapenems are considered an antibiotic of last resort, so germs that resist their effects are very difficult to kill. Worse, this superbug gene is carried on an easily swapped bit of genetic material called a plasmid, and the researchers found it in several different species of bacteria on the farm.”


Superbug Infections Must be Listed on Death Certificate Under Proposed Bill
– LA Times, December 5, 2016

QUOTE: “Currently many deaths from infections acquired in hospitals and nursing homes are not publicly recorded, leaving health officials to guess at their toll.  Today we have to estimate the number of deaths from infections and we have no idea if that is accurate,’ said Hill (D-San Mateo). ‘We’re shooting in the dark.’”


Fear, Then Skepticism, Over Antibiotic-Resistant Genes in Beijing Smog
– The New York Times, December 2, 2016

QUOTE: “Though fears of airborne bacteria were unfounded, there is a growing health problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are heavily overprescribed in China, doctors and researchers say.”


How Drug-Resistant Bacteria Travel from the Farm to Your Table
– Scientific American, December 1, 2016

QUOTE: “Bacteria are everywhere, but they are more everywhere on livestock farms because everybody is literally walking around in poop. (Even though I was covered in plastic the whole time I toured Schoettmer’s farm, I reeked when I checked into my hotel room hours later.) And like germs in an elementary school, the bacteria in this excrement get shared widely—they get burrowed under the fingernails of visitors who scratch the animals’ heads, and they contaminate the hands of farm employees. (I never saw anyone wearing gloves.)”


Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs on Hong Kong MTR Trains, Study Reveals
– Post Magazine, November 25, 2016

QUOTE: “The bacteria were found on the hands of students who took trains on the various MTR lines.  The findings come amid growing global concern about the spread of superbugs resistant to most forms of antibiotic – drugs used in humans to treat a wide range of illnesses and prevent infection during childbirth, surgery and organ transplants and also used widely in agriculture. China is the world’s biggest user and producer of antibiotics.”


Antibiotic Resistance Grows as Last-Line Drugs Fail
– Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, November 21, 2016

QUOTE: “’Antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae is of increasing concern in Europe,’ added ECDC acting director, Andrea Ammon, M.D. ‘More than one-third of the isolates reported to ECDC for 2015 were resistant to at least one of the antibiotic groups under surveillance, and combined resistance to multiple antibiotic groups was common. Moreover, the emergence of K. pneumoniae infections with combined resistance to carbapenems and colistin is worrisome and an important warning that options for treatment are now even more limited than in the past.’”


Traces of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Have Been Found in Polluted City Air
– Science Alert, November 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Scientists are now cautioning that city smog might be spreading the genetic material that makes viruses untreatable, and at this stage, it’s not clear how much damage this could do in the world’s most polluted cities.”


Plasmids Shown to Play Key Role in Spread of Antibiotic Resistance
– Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, November 9, 2016

QUOTE: “According to Dr. MacLean, the spread of resistance genes in bacterial populations is driven by simple, Darwinian selection. During antibiotic treatment, bacteria with resistance genes have a higher reproductive rate than sensitive bacteria, and, as a result, the use of antibiotics causes the spread of resistance genes.”


13 Cases of ‘Superbug’ Fungal Infection in U.S.
– Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2016

QUOTE: “Candida auris fungal infection is emerging as a health threat worldwide, and it appears to spread in hospitals and other health care facilities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”


Research Project to Combat Superbugs, Antibiotic Resistance
– Weill Cornell Medicine, October 22, 2016

QUOTE: “’Most of the infections in these patients are from gut bacteria,’ said Dr. Satlin, an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. ‘This project will allow us to understand how genes that confer resistance to important antibiotics spread among gut bacteria and proliferate in the setting of antibiotic exposures. A better understanding of resistance in the gut microbiome of these patients, and the effect that antibiotics have, could lead to new strategies for preventing and treating infections in this vulnerable patient population.’”


Superbugs: How Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs are Killing Mankind
– Wall Street Daily, October 19, 2016

QUOTE: “The experiment illustrates ‘the process of accumulating successive mutations’ that allows the bacteria ‘normally sensitive to an antibiotic’ to ‘evolve resistance to extremely high concentrations in a short period of time.’”


Lobby Group Links Antibiotic Resistance to ‘Dirty’ Drug Factories, and Aurobindo is a Culprit
– Fierce Pharma, October 19, 2016

QUOTE: “A hard-hitting report by campaigning organization Changing Markets says direct sampling of water from manufacturing sites operated by Aurobindo, Orchid Pharma and Asiatic Drugs and Pharmaceuticals has–for the first time–uncovered drug-resistant bacteria.”


Editorial: What We Don’t Know About Superbugs Could Kill Us
– LA Times, October 12, 2016

QUOTE: “Lest anyone think that the senator is merely headline chasing, Hill joined the drug-resistant infection fight long before it became such a global concern. In 2015, he authored Senate Bill 27, the nation’s toughest law to curb antibiotic use in agriculture. More than 70% of the antibiotics designed for human care are used in agriculture, where they historically have been used prophylactically for growth promotion and disease prevention. When the law goes into effect in 2018, it will allow antibiotic use on livestock only to control and treat infections.”


Mystery of Bacteria’s Antibiotic Resistance Unraveled
– Science Daily, October 7, 2016

QUOTE: “’Antibiotic resistance is one of the major problems in modern medicine,’ said Adbelwahab. ‘Our studies have shown how this enzyme deactivates rifampicin. We now have a blueprint to inhibit this enzyme and prevent antibiotic resistance.’”


Society and Superbugs: Losing ‘One of the Most Serious Infectious Disease Threats of Our Time’
– CNBC, October 2, 2016

QUOTE: “’This is really a frightening situation,’ Dr. Beth Bell of the CDC told CNBC’s ‘On The Money’ in a recent interview, ‘and really one of the most serious infectious disease threats of our time.’”



No One Knows How Many Patients are Dying from Superbug Infections in California Hospitals
– LA Times, October 2, 2016

QUOTE: “An epidemic of hospital-acquired infections is going unreported, scientists have found. 

University of Michigan researchers reported in a 2014 study that infections – both those acquired inside and outside hospitals – would replace heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in hospitals if the count was performed by looking at patients’ medical billing records, which show what they were being treated for, rather than death certificates.”


Soaring Levels of Antibiotic Resistance Found in Supermarket Chickens
– The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, September 27, 2016

QUOTE: “Across the 283 samples tested by the FSA, 5% showed resistance to multiple antibiotics, meaning treatment options would be very limited. Given that 900 million chickens were produced in the UK in 2014, millions could be carrying multi-drug-resistant bacteria, the report warns.”


Gonorrhea Outbreak in Hawaii Shows Increased Antibiotic Resistance
– CNN, September 22, 2016

QUOTE: “’Since 2005, we have seen four isolated cases that showed resistance to both drugs. But the Hawaii cases are the first cluster we have seen with reduced susceptibility to both drugs,’ said Paul Fulton Jr., a spokesman for the CDC.”


CDC: Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Growing U.S. Threat
– WebMD, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Data published by the CDC earlier this year showed evidence of emerging azithromycin resistance in gonorrhea samples found across the nation, but those infections were still susceptible to ceftriaxone.”


‘Superbug’ MRSA May be Spreading Through Tainted Poultry
– Washington Post, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Until now, researchers have known that livestock can carry the bacteria, putting farmers, farmworkers, veterinarians and others who work directly with animals at greater risk. MRSA bacteria have also been shown to be present in foods, including pork, beef and dairy, although outbreaks from food contamination have been rare.”


Drug-Resistant Superbugs Are a ‘Fundamental Threat’, WHO Says
– NBC News, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “And while antibiotics can be miracle drugs, they’ve been abused and overused so much that they are often useless against bacteria that evolve much, much faster than humanity can invent new weapons.”


How do Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Get Into the Environment?
– The Conversation, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “People carry all kinds of bacteria, potentially even resistant bacteria, in and on their bodies. People can shed these bacteria in communal spaces such as locker rooms or even beaches, but a major concern is their presence in human sewage. Resistant bacteria enter our aging sewer infrastructure and may eventually end up in the environment through sewage spills. This can expose people to hard-to-treat infections, and creates the potential for genes conferring resistance to be spread to other bacteria in environmental habitats.”


Antibiotic Resistance—The Tab Comes Due
– The Hill, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Such a scenario threatens to return modern medicine to the pre-penicillin era in which Dr. Fleming practiced. In those times, a simple laceration could mean death, and modern procedures like organ transplantation, coronary bypass surgery, and prosthetic joint replacements were the fantastic stuff of scientific fiction.”


Antibiotic Resistance Could Kill More People than Cancer
– AgMag, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Poultry, cattle, and swine raised with antibiotics harbor significant populations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are transmitted to humans through direct contact with the animals and through their meat, eggs, and milk,’  the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy said in a recent report.”


The Age Of The Superbug Is Already Here
– Huffington Post, September 20, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Antibiotics have been victims of their own success,’ he said. ‘It’s really sad how we’ve misused them in human medicine and animal husbandry. We’ve deceived ourselves, thinking that this ‘magic’ medicine would always be around.’”


Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the World’s Peril
– Scientific American, September 19, 2016

QUOTE: “Antibiotics kill bacteria, and as anybody who has been on a long course of the drugs to treat an ailment knows, the medicine is indiscriminate, knocking off not only invaders like the bugs that cause pneumonia and ear infections, but also those that prevent stomach aches and constipation in response to ingestion of food. Human overuse or misuse of antibiotics has bred the emergence of Superbugs that are not only resistant to the drugs, but may be able to surge in numbers within a person’s gut, for example, leading to dangerous imbalances in bacterial populations that then cause diabetes, some types of heart disease, depression and an enormous range of common diseases.”


Chemicals in Indoor Dust Tied to Antibiotic Resistance
– Reuters, September 16, 2016

QUOTE: “For instance, dust samples with higher amounts of triclosan also had higher levels of a gene that’s been implicated in bacterial resistance to multiple drugs. While they found only very small amounts of triclosan – less than many household products contain – the connection suggests a need to investigate how these chemicals in dust may contribute to antibiotic resistance, the researchers conclude.”


A New Video from the Harvard Medical School Shows the Terrifying Reality of Antibiotic resistance
– Business Insider, September 13, 2016

QUOTE: “So the same bugs that at first had a hard time fighting off even just the lowest dose of the antibiotic had in just a little over a week, found a way to make themselves 1,000 times as strong. It’s a worrying sign, since developing new antibiotics to tackle mutant bugs is incredibly tricky, and resistance can develop before a drug even gets approved.”


The Surprising History of the War on Superbugs—And What it Means for the World Today
– STAT News, September 12, 2016

QUOTE: “Yet organizing a fight against antibiotic resistance proved much harder than against ineffective or dangerous drugs. For one thing, the goal was fuzzier. The World Health Organization organized meetings about antibiotic resistance as early as the 1950s, but they fizzled out. The experts who came to the meetings got bogged down in arguments over how to measure resistance and what level to consider a threat to public health.”


Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome
– American Chemical Society, September 7, 2016

QUOTE: “Antibiotic resistance is increasingly widespread, largely due to human influence. Here, we explore the relationship between antibiotic resistance genes and the antimicrobial chemicals triclosan, triclocarban, and methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben in the dust microbiome.”



Superbug Explosion Triggers U.N. General Assembly Meeting
– Nature America, September 7, 2016

QUOTE: “Colistin-resistant Escherichia coli has surfaced in more than 30 countries, including in a patient in the U.S. One strain of E. coli in the U.S. has actually proved resistant to both carbapenem and colistin (but fortunately that strain appears to be susceptible to some other antibiotics). ‘The fact we are so concerned about colistin resistance is a sign of how desperate we are,’ says Lance Price, a microbiologist and director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at The George Washington University. ‘It’s a shitty drug. It’s toxic and doctors don’t like to use it, but now they have to use it because it’s the only thing that treats some of these drug-resistant infections.’”


One in Four Supermarket Chicken Samples Contain Antibiotic-Resistant E. coli
– The Guardian, September 5, 2016

QUOTE: “The study, commissioned by the campaign group Save Our Antibiotics, also found 51% of E coli from pork and poultry samples were resistant to the antibiotic trimethoprim, which is used to treat more than half of lower urinary tract infections.”


Growing Antibiotic Resistance Forces Updates to Recommended Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections
– World Health Organization, August 30, 2016

QUOTE: “Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.”


Birth in a Time of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
– World Health Organization, August 29, 2016

QUOTE: “According to current estimates, more than 200 000 newborns die each year from infections that do not respond to available drugs. And studies using data from larger hospitals – where microbes are more likely to develop antibiotic resistance – estimate that about 40% of infections in newborns resist standard treatments.”


Antibiotic Resistance in Pets an Increasing Problem
– Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, August 28, 2016

QUOTE: “Of greater concern to Weese are increasingly drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria like E coli and Salmonella, which can cause severe illness in humans. These pathogens could live in the guts of pets and be shed in feces, providing a possible avenue of transmission between pets and humans. ‘There’s a bigger unknown factor with the gram-negatives, so I’m a little more concerned about them,’” he says.


Antimicrobial Resistance: Clear and Present Danger
– The Hindu, August 10, 2016

QUOTE: “A March 2016 paper on ‘Antibiotic Resistance in India: Drivers and Opportunities for Action’ in PLOS Medicine makes a convincing case for action against resistance: ‘Antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat, but nowhere is it as stark as in India. The crude infectious disease mortality rate in India today is 416.75 per 100,000 persons… twice the rate in the U.S. (200) when antibiotics were introduced.’”


Antibiotic Resistance Reaches Brazil
– The Scientist, August 8, 2016

QUOTE: “For the first time in Brazil, a person has tested positive for carrying bacteria with the antibiotic-resistance gene mcr-1, which blocks the drug colistin. As researchers reported today (August 8) in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the bacterial plasmid resembled antibiotic-resistant strains present on other continents.”


Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Cases Up Fourfold in U.S.
– WebMD, July 24, 2016

QUOTE: “‘The confluence of emerging drug resistance and very limited alternative options for treatment creates a perfect storm for future gonorrhea treatment failure in the U.S.,’ said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, who directs the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention.”


Gonorrhea May Soon Be Resistant to all Antibiotics
– Scientific American, July 15, 2016

QUOTE: “The drugs, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, are used in combination to treat gonorrhea, a strategy experts hope will prolong the period during which these critical drugs will work. 

But a nationwide surveillance program showed rises in the percentage of gonorrhea samples that were resistant to one or the other drug in 2014. In the case of azithromycin, there was a fourfold rise in the portion of samples that were resistant.”


A ‘Slow Catastrophe’ Unfolds as the Golden Age of Antibiotics Comes to an End
– LA Times, July 11 2016

QUOTE: “More ominously, the gene’s presence on a plasmid — a tiny mobile loop of DNA that can be readily snapped off and attached to other bacteria — suggested that it could readily jump to other E. coli bacteria, or to entirely different forms of disease-causing organisms. That would make them impervious to colistin as well.”


How Quickly Antibiotic Resistance can Spread
– LA Times, July 11 2016

QUOTE: “‘They found it everywhere,’ Hanage said. ‘The cat was not just out of the bag; it had gotten out of the bag, made its way into the hamster cage, and was eating the hamsters.’

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 9,000 U.S. patients per year are infected with carbapenem-resistant bacteria, causing 600 deaths annually.”


Why Antibiotic use on Farms Helps Fuel Antibiotic-Resistant Diseases
– LA Times, July 11, 2016

QUOTE: “It’s likely no accident, scientists say, that the first discovery of bacteria carrying the colistin-resistant mcr-1 gene occurred in China. Colistin is not generally used on American farms, but China is one the world’s largest producers of colistin, and its farmers are among the world’s heaviest users of the antibiotic.”


Tourists Pick up Antibiotic-Resistance Genes in just Two Days
– New Scientist, June 24, 2016

QUOTE: “Within two days of reaching India, for instance, two travellers had picked up qnrB, a gene that makes bacteria resistant to quinolone, one of the world’s most important antibiotics. The travellers’ gut flora retained the new genes for at least one month after they had returned home.

The type of drug resistance acquired depended on the destination, says Wolffs. In India, for example, widespread resistance to quinolones is well documented, not least because so much of the antibiotic is manufactured and overprescribed there.”


Antibiotic Resistance in Humans and Animals
– National Academy of Sciences, June 22, 2016

QUOTE: “The complete failure of our society to address this concern in the United States is profoundly disappointing and alarming to providers who increasingly struggle to care for patients infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Apologists abound. Excuses are rampant. As alluded to by the British report, “more science” is the often-heard refrain. Those who espouse the need for yet further study before action can be taken typically have close links to farms that continue to use antibiotics. Yet we are past the scientific tipping point.”


What The New Superbug Means For The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
– Huffington Post, June 3, 2016

QUOTE: “Bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics are the sort of thing that ‘[keeps] us awake at night,’ said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who was not involved in the woman’s case.”



The Superbug that Doctors have been Dreading just Reached the U.S.
– The Washington Post, May 27, 2016

QUOTE: “The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a study published Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery ‘heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.’”


Here’s Why Doctors Are So Worried About the New Superbug
– NBC News, May 27, 2016

QUOTE: “Bacteria develop resistance to drugs quickly. By the time the first antibiotic, penicillin, was introduced in 1943, staphylococcus germs had developed resistance. It only took nine years for a strain of tetracycline-resistant Shigella to evolve after that drug hit the market in 1950. MRSA turned up two years after methicillin’s development in 1960.”


Nightmare Superbug: What is it? And should you worry?
– The Washington Post, May 27, 2016

QUOTE: “If this becomes more common and the gene gets into more bacteria that are already more resistant to other kinds of antibiotics, that’s a concern. If it gets into the health-care system, like nursing homes, acute care hospitals, where people probably don’t have good immunity or ability to fight infections, that’s the long-term concern. Then you are more vulnerable and affected than the average healthy person.”


Infection Raises Specter of Superbugs Resistant to All Antibiotics
– The New York Times, May 26, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Think of a puzzle,’ said Dr. Beth Bell, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘You need lots of different pieces to get a result that is resistant to everything. This is the last piece of that puzzle, unfortunately, in the United States. We have that genetic element that would allow for bacteria that are resistant to every antibiotic.’”


“Stop Treating Antibiotics like Sweets”: The Threat We Face from Antibiotic Resistance
– New Statesman, May 23, 2016

QUOTE: “Many medical procedures are dependent on the effectiveness of drugs such as antibiotics: treatments for cancer patients and antibiotic prophylaxis during surgeries, for example. All could be under threat by increased resistance. The continuing rise of resistant superbugs and the impotence of antibiotics would pose ‘as big a risk as terrorism’. A post-antibiotic world would spell dystopia.”


How to Stop Superbugs from Killing 10 Million People a Year
– CNN, May 23, 2016

QUOTE: “Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to the antimicrobial drugs typically used to kill them. They are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths every year.  If no action is taken, these numbers are expected to rise dramatically, causing more deaths than cancer by 2050. This would mean common procedures such as giving birth, treating wounds and undergoing surgery could become fatal due to a lack of effective antibiotics.”


Global Antibiotics ‘Revolution’ Needed
– BBC, May 19, 2016

QUOTE: “The review said the economic case for action ‘was clear’ and could be paid for using a small cut of the current health budgets of countries or through extra taxes on pharmaceutical companies not investing in antibiotic research.

Lord Jim O’Neill, the economist who led the global review, said: ‘We need to inform in different ways, all over the world, why it’s crucial we stop treating our antibiotics like sweets.’”


Prevalence of Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescriptions Among US Ambulatory Care Visits, 2010–2011
– The Jama Network, May 3, 2016

QUOTE: “Therefore, a 15% reduction in overall antibiotic use would be necessary to meet the White House National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria goal of reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in the outpatient setting by 50% by 2020.12 This estimate of inappropriate outpatient antibiotic prescriptions can be used to inform antibiotic stewardship programs in ambulatory care by public health and health care delivery systems in the next 5 years.”


Antimicrobial Resistance:  Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations.
– Review on Antimicrobial Existence, December 2014

QUOTE: “Although in modern, well-funded healthcare systems, obtaining access to second and third-line treatments may often not be an issue, mortality rates for patients with infections caused by resistant bacteria are significantly higher, as are their costs of treatment. And we are seeing in parts of European increasing number of patients in intensive care units, haematology units and transplant units who have pan-resistant infections, meaning there is no effective treatment available.”


 

 

The post The Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance appeared first on The Grow Network.

Herbalist’s View on New “Vet Med” Regulations

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Herbalist’s View on New “Vet Med” Regulations Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Listen in player below! Do you rely on so-called “vet meds”? The FDA has recently stepped in to regulate these medications, specifically antibiotics. The hope here is to slow down the advance of antibiotic resistance. In this episode, I share my thoughts on … Continue reading Herbalist’s View on New “Vet Med” Regulations

The post Herbalist’s View on New “Vet Med” Regulations appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Expert Warns It’s “Almost Too Late” to Stop Superbugs

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e coli wikimediaYou’re probably already aware of the dangers posed by the overuse of antibiotics. Doing so can lead to the creation of pathogens that are immune to antibiotics, and often can’t be treated by modern medicine. What you may not know, is that these dangers no longer lie in the relative safety of the future. They are already with us today, and these superbugs are killing thousands every year.

More importantly, the age of pharmaceutical antibiotics is nearing its end. Last month, a gene was discovered in several strains of bacteria in China, which grants these pathogens an immunity to colistin. This drug was one of the earliest forms of antibiotics, and also the only one that had yet to breed immunity in any strain of bacteria.

What’s worse, is that this gene can be passed to different strains of bacteria, so the genie is out of the bottle. Someday soon, colistin will be useless, and we will be well on our way into the post-antibiotic era. However, some experts on the subject believe that there is still a slim chance of avoiding this disaster. According to Dr. David Brown, who is the director of Antibiotic Research UK, society could turn this ship around if we changed our ways.

Dr Brown told said: “It is almost too late. We needed to start research 10 years ago and we still have no global monitoring system in place.

“The issue is people have tried to find new antibiotics but it is totally failing – there has been no new chemical class of drug to treat gram-negative infections for more than 40 years.

“I think we have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again.”

Resistance is thought to have grown due to colistin being heavily used in pockets of the agricultural industries, particularly in China, often to increase the physical size of livestock.

Worldwide, the demand for colistin in agriculture was expected to reach almost 12,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year, rising to 16,500 tonnes by 2021.

Unfortunately, “50-50″ may be wishful thinking. The gene responsible for building immunity against colistin has already been found in the UK. If it’s been found in China and the British Isles, then it’s safe to assume that it has gone worldwide. “50-50″ may still be an accurate assessment, but only on the condition that the agricultural industry of every nation, agrees to stop using colistin with such wanton abandon. However, the chances of that happening anytime soon are slim to nil.

Agricultural use of antibiotics has been one of the biggest drivers of superbug development, perhaps even more so than human usage. Doctors may be handing out these drugs like candy to their patients, but farmers have been giving antibiotics to their livestock by the shovelful. They’re not just used to treat individual animals who’ve become sick. They’re often laced with their feed as a preventative measure, and are known to induce growth in the livestock.

In other words, there is a ton of money to be made by dosing animals with antibiotics, and since agriculture is largely a corporate game these days, there’s going to be a lot of lobbying to prevent any new legal restrictions. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or that it hasn’t been done before. It’s just that there are plenty of barriers that would prevent these laws from being made.

And in any case, the world has been fully aware of the consequences of overusing antibiotics in agriculture for decades, and yet, very little has been done to stop this practice. Now that we’ve finally reached the crisis point that has been predicted for years, is there any reason to believe that suddenly we’ll drop everything we’re doing and change? I doubt it.

It was short-term thinking that brought us here, and that thinking hasn’t changed. As far as the agricultural industry is concerned, it’s too late. So why not milk it for as long as they can? Besides, anybody who stops now is going to be out-competed by other companies that refuse to stop. It doesn’t matter that there’s a small chance of stopping this disaster. Corporations don’t sacrifice profits for small chances.

And finally, suppose that there was a concerted effort to ban this practice. Is it reasonable to believe that every country will go through with it? If even one small nation doesn’t stop using these antibiotics on their livestock, it will be enough to foster these immunity genes which will spread all over the world, as they have already done.

At the end of the day, there is no going back. There is no turning the ship around, and there is no last-minute solution. The antibiotics created by medical science are going the way of the dodo, and only natural alternatives will remain in the aftermath.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survival Medicine Hour: Active Shooters, SWAT-T, Superbugs

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Would you know the right plan of action if you were caught in an active shooter situation? Having a plan of action in advance may mean the difference between life and death? Joe Alton, MD gives his take on what to do in a mass casualty incident. Also, Dr. Alton discusses antibiotic-resistant superbug CRE, as well as Dr. Brock Blankenship’s SWAT-T, a tourniquet that might be a good addition to many workplace and schools’ first aid kits.

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To listen in, click below:

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2015/12/06/survival-medicine-hour-active-shooters-swat-t-new-superbug

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or  bad,

 

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP

 

Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

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The wise medic will store antibiotics to deal with infections in survival scenarios, but what happens when a bacteria becomes resistant to them? In other words, a “Superbug”?

In the U.S., 2 million people are infected annually with bacteria resistant to standard antibiotic treatment. At least 23,000 of these will die as a result. In an increasingly overburdened health system, resistant microbes are responsible for a huge increase in the cost of caring for the sick.

This article will discuss antibiotics and the epidemic of resistance that has spawned a growing number of superbugs.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are medicines that kill micro-organisms in the body. Amazingly, the first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered entirely by accident in 1928 when Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from a vacation. He noticed that a lab dish with a bacterial culture had developed a mold known then as Penicillin Notatum. Around the mold, an area had developed that was clear of bacteria. Further study proved the potent germicidal effect of the compound processed from the mold.

By the 1940s, penicillin was in general use and credited with saving many lives during WWII. Since then, more than 100 different antibiotics have been identified and developed into medicines.

Antibiotic Overuse

The huge success that antibiotics had in eliminating bacterial infections caused them to be used excessively. Liberal employment of antibiotics is a bad idea for several reasons:

  • Overuse fosters the spread of resistant bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions can occur, sometimes severe.
  • Antibiotics given before a diagnosis is confirmed may mask some symptoms and make identifying the illness more difficult.

Antibiotics will kill many bacteria, but they will not be effective against viruses, such as those that cause influenza or the common cold. They are also not meant as anti-fungal agents.

 

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Viruses are largely unaffected by antibiotics

 

Most will be surprised to hear that almost 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. don’t go to people, but to livestock. This is not to treat sick livestock but to make healthy livestock grow faster and get to market sooner. No one knows for sure why antibiotics have this effect, but the gross overuse on food animals is a big reason for the epidemic of resistance seen today.

The Superbug List Grows Longer

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a list of close to 20 bacteria that have shown a tendency towards antibiotic resistance. They include various organisms that cause severe diarrheal disease, respiratory issues, wound infections, and even sexually transmitted disease.

The CDC’s list:

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
  • Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter
  • Drug-resistant Campylobacter
  • Fluconazole-resistant Candida
  • Extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs)
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella
  • Drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi
  • Drug-resistant Shigella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
  • Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA)
  • Erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococcus
  • Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus

 

There have been no effective treatments identified for some of the above microbes, as in the case of multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis. MRSA, Methicillin-Resistant Staph. Aureus, was responsible for more deaths than AIDS in recent years.

 

Although this is the CDC’s list of superbugs that affect the United States, they aren’t the only ones. A new type of Malaria, a very common parasitic disease of warmer climates, is turning up that is resistant to the standard drugs.

 

Viruses are “resistant” to antibiotics by nature (in other words, they are unaffected by them) and include Influenza A, Swine Flu, Ebola, Bird Flu, SARS, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These will be discussed in detail in a future article.

 

An Effective Strategy

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Strategy #1

 

Many believe that antibiotic-resistant Superbugs listed are exotic diseases that could never affect their community. With the ease of commercial air travel, however, cases of antibiotic-resistant diseases from afar can easily arrive on our shores.

 

Recently, a case of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis was identified and then isolated at the high level isolation unit at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. Although we have increased our capacity for handling this type of patient significantly since the arrival of Ebola in the U.S. last year, it wouldn’t take much to overwhelm our facilities.

 

 

Therefore, the medic must have a plan to decrease the chances for antibiotic-resistant infections. The main strategy is to hold off on dispensing that precious supply of antibiotics until absolutely necessary, but other strategies include:

 

  • Establishing good hygiene practices: Everyone should be diligent about washing hands with soap and hot water or hand sanitizers. Good respiratory hygiene includes coughing or sneezing into tissues or the upper arm, but never the bare hands.
  • Supervising sterilization of water, preparation of food, and disposal of human waste and trash. Contaminated water and food will lead to many avoidable deaths in survival scenarios. Make sure that food preparation surfaces (counter tops, etc.) are disinfected frequently.
  • Dedicating personal items: Personal items like towels, linens, utensils, and clothing may be best kept to one person in an epidemic setting.
  • Cleaning all wounds thoroughly and covering with a dressing. Skin is the body’s armor, and any chink in it will expose a person to infection.
  • Social distancing: When a community outbreak has occurred, limiting contact with those outside the family or survival group may be necessary to stay healthy.
  • Keeping a strong immune system: Getting enough rest, eating healthily, and avoiding stress will improve a person’s defenses against disease. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to achieve these goals in times of trouble.
  • Going natural: Allicin, a compound present in garlic, is a natural antibiotic that is thought to have an effect against some resistant bacteria like MRSA. Crush a clove and eat it.

 

 

Preventing the spread of infections, especially antibiotic-resistant ones, is important to maintain the viability of a survival community. If you’re the medic, have antibiotics in your storage but use them wisely. If you do, you’ll help prevent not only resistance, but a lot of heartache if things go South.

 

Joe Alton, MD

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