12668156-bacteria-and-bacterium-cells-floating-in-microscopic-spaceArticle Summary:

Hospitals have traditionally prescribed antibiotics to cure bacterial infections, but recently doctors have been hard-pressed to counter the rising numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with the annual number of cases reaching 2 million and the annual number of deaths from the pathogens around 23,000. Specifically, the bacteria with the enzymes that shield them from the antibiotics are capable of disseminating that information to other bacteria. Finally, certain individuals can carry the super-bug without exhibiting symptoms, making them unwitting disease vectors. So the question is how did such super-bugs come into ascendance? The answer is we helped.

Thanks to our complacency and general ignorance on bacteria’s potential for change, the super-bugs were able to establish a foothold in hospitals. When antibiotics were first released, many proclaimed it the miracle of medicine and the end of infection. However, this viewpoint failed to show appreciation that even among bacteria adaptability differs between each bacterium. People assumed that antibiotics would vanquish all bacteria, but in reality, the drugs culled the weak and left the survivors to proliferate. The stresses placed on the bacteria gave rise to stronger and stronger strains, while the pharmaceutical companies, considering the antibiotics good enough for the current generation of bacteria, stopped their research. As a result, the bacteria have beaten us in the adaptability game, and now, doctors are trying to play catch-up against organisms that never stopped changing.

The one who is able to maintain change within a shorter amount of time has an advantage over those who stagnate. The bacterium, a humble animal devoid of even a nervous system, has managed to thwart our pharmaceutical defenses by taking advantage of our inaction.

Article Reference:

Antibiotics Can’t Keep Up with ‘Nightmare” Superbugs – Centers For Disease Control and Prevention — NPR – October 22 2013 – Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2013/10/22/239247134/antibiotics-cant-keep-up-with-nightmare-superbugs



Comments (4)

  1. Hossein Vashani


    Again we tried to control something and then we failed. Doctors acted like blind people in this situation because they tried to control bacteria without discovering enough and reliable information and conditions. This event had a single result and this result was having much stronger bacteria but due to the fact that doctors did not know all conditions, they could not predict this single outcome. It seems really interesting that bacteria can change in a manner to adapt with new situations.

  2. Serb Brar


    This article is definitely interesting in the fact that it shows how the super bugs were basically designed by humans and their antibiotics. This is especially important as one of the things that is foreseen from the advent of super bugs is that we will eventually run out of antibiotics that will effectively fight these bacteria without also severely harming the person taking these antibiotics. However, it is also useless to simply not take antibiotics as these super bugs exist regardless of whether we take the antibiotics that created them anyway. Therefore, a Type A person would continue to make sure that these environments prone to heavy concentrations of these bacteria will continue to sanitize the area as best as possible because staying out of contact of these super bugs is the best way to prevent suffering from them.

  3. Shivaan Kulanathan


    This article provides an interesting viewpoint on type A and type C. It seems like bacteria appear to be type A creatures while humans are, for the most part, type C. The bacteria are noticing their surroundings, taking in information, and applying change to themselves in order to survive. When an antibiotic is first introduced, the bacteria it is fighting has not encountered an opposing force like it before and therefore cannot fight back. As time goes on, it strengthens itself to point where it can survive the antibiotic. The bacteria are in essence going through the cycle of learning. We on the other hand seem to be slower to change than the bacteria. It seems that the bacteria are becoming more resistant faster than we can create new antibiotics. From that perspective we are type C while the bacteria are type A.

  4. Teja Reddy


    This article deals with IMT concepts like event and individuals, in this case the doctors were blind, they had all the valid information but they forgot about them or were blind initially, since they were blind and final conditions of a event are initial conditions of another event, these conditions got worsen over this period of time. They missed a concept or ignored that bacteria can adopt to any conditions, so these strong bacteria which lived after medication have now grown in strength and multiplied.

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