Harvard School of Public Health on Antibiotic Resistance

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Researchers discuss antibiotic drug resistance in reddit ‘AMA’

On Tuesday, June 28, Harvard Chan School faculty Sarah Fortune, professor of immunology and infectious diseases, and Eric Rubin, Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, discussed the growing threat of antibiotic resistance during a reddit “Ask Me Anything (AMA).”  Antibiotics have helped reduce infectious diseases, particularly those caused by bacteria, from one of the most common causes of death to diseases that are mostly completely curable. However, as each new antibiotic has been developed, resistance to each has slowly or, in some cases, rapidly emerged.  Antibiotic resistance is increasing throughout the world, both in hospitals, which have long harbored highly resistant organisms, and in community settings.

Among the questions addressed are:

  • How large is this problem?  Are we putting ourselves at risk?
  • I’ve heard that we’ve got about 10 years until bacteria will no longer resistant to penicillin. Is there any validity to this?
  • Is antibiotic resistance related to the agricultural industry’s use of antibiotics as growth enhancers?
  • Are doctors and individuals contributing to the rise of drug resistance thru indiscriminate use of antibiotics?
  • What are bacteriophages?
  • What can we (the general population) do to slow (or stop) the progression of this antibiotic resistance?
  • What should the role of government be in research and development of new antibiotics?

Read the summary article here: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/reddit-ama-drug-resistance/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Update_07.01.2016%20(1)&utm_content=

Follow the link in the first paragraph of the summary article to read the full AMA text with all of the questions and answers.  …or click here: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/4q920m/askscience_ama_series_we_are_sarah_fortune_and/