Home Weird Science Scary Facts About Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Weird Science By Trista -

Scary Facts About Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Shutterstock

3. How Can Scientists Bring New Antibiotics to the Market?

This is not just a problem for pharmaceutical companies; this is a problem that everyone should be involved in. Governments, industries, and other vital organizations should be working together to create a new pipeline of drugs to boost the chances of fighting these superbugs. There are several different options on the table people should consider. The first is to provide “rewards” to those who have successfully developed new antibiotics. Another idea is to use a “subscription” style of payment, where pharmaceutical companies receive payment upfront to access the drugs they’ve created (via Well Come).

Pharmaceutical companies have tried taking steps to improve the situation that everyone has found themselves in. For example, they’ve removed financial bonuses tied to sales. Furthermore, they have started sharing any data on the spread of drug-resistant infections with others. These are encouraging practices,. However, the change isn’t happening on the scale that’s required to really make a difference. At least not fast enough. Scientists need to take quicker action to protect modern medicine and reduce the drug-resistant infections. They are plaguing countries worldwide on a much broader scale.

Scary Facts About Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Shutterstock

2. How Many New Antibiotics Are Over the Horizon?

There are insufficient drugs to deal with the growing threat of superbugs. That leaves the human population up the creek without a paddle. According to the World Health Organization, there are at least between forty and fifty antibiotics in clinical development at the moment. The majority of these will only bring limited results compared to already-existing treatments. Furthermore, only a few targets a small number of any of the superbugs.

The main problem is that it will take up to at least ten years for any of these drugs to make it to the market with the amount of testing they have to do (via Well Come). Moreover, many of them will fail along the way, too. Why? Because only one out of every fifteen drugs will actually reach patients for use. It has become a less fruitful endeavor, unfortunately. As a result, many pharmaceutical companies abandon research on antibiotics altogether. Nevertheless, there’s another hill to climb with getting these medications to market and making them accessible to both doctors and patients alike.

Scary Facts About Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Shutterstock

1. What Else Can Scientists Do to Combat These Resistant Superbugs?

Researchers have recently put their heads together to find better ways to combat these superbugs. How? By using their own relatives against them. They’ve employed the use of CRISPR-Cas9 (via DW). What is that? A constructed gene-editing tool that infiltrates the interior of the harmful bacteria. It works as a pair of “genetic scissors,” cutting the DNA strands in the bacteria. That way, they can no longer thrive. The great thing about this method is that it doesn’t kill the good bacteria in the body the way broad-spectrum antibiotics do; it focuses only on harmful bacteria.

CRISPR-Cas9 have specific DNA sequence targets to know precisely what to look for and cut where that sequence is. This process is even more successful because bacteria share genetic material just by touching. With these changed sequences, the bacteria do all of the work for CRISPR-Cas9 (via DW). That means copying the new series and ultimately spelling their own demise. This has proven to be 99.9% effective against the targeted antibiotic-resistant bacteria in mice. In fact, it works by killing them in just under four days. However, the real problem lies in determining whether bacteria will further evolve to combat this technology. Thus, making them even harder to kill in the future.

Advertisement
Advertisement