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How scientists fight ‘superbugs’: 4 essential reads

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year, these so-called superbugs cause more infections. 2.8 million people in the United States and killed more than 35,000 people.

The CDC identifies the 18 most worrisome strains of bacteria and fungi. The fear is that these superbugs can spread resistance to other disease-causing organisms, rendering modern medicine’s most powerful weapon useless.

at the same time A large number of academics across the United States are tackling issues and coming up with innovative solutions to combat these micro-threats. Here, we share four examples from our 2018-2019 archive.

1. Consistent rules for hospitals with special defects.

Infectious disease scientist David Pryde explains why further improvements in current antibiotics are ineffective. And how do the rules for containment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria differ from hospital to hospital? This exacerbates the spread of these deadly microbes. He presented an ambitious plan to halt the rise of superbugs, which included introducing general practice in hospitals on when and where antibiotics are required to stop their inappropriate and excessive use. He also stressed the need for less antibiotic use in livestock.

2. Virus to the rescue

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It is well known that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Andrew Camilli and Minmin Yen write about how they and other researchers Take advantage of this idea for help from bacteria-killing viruses called bacteriophages to eradicate antibiotic-resistant superbugs These researchers are focusing on using bacteria to kill cholera bacteria in the gut to prevent infection. But these viral cocktails have also proven effective in other infections.

3. Smart Antibiotics

One of the problems with today’s antibiotics is that they fail to distinguish between pathogenic and beneficial microbes that make up our microbiome and are essential to good health, explain David B. Stewart and Arun K. Sharma. How they design nanotechnology to bring targeted drugs that are cheap but kill Clostridioides difficileThe microbes that the CDC lists in the new report are urgent threats.

4. A deadly fungus?

You might feel that all the microbes on the CDC’s list of public health threats are bacteria, but three — 20% of those mentioned in the report — are fungi, called the new pests of greatest concern. Candida AurisWith limited drugs to combat fungal infections, Carol A. Kumamoto and Jesus A. Romo write about how they are studying their less dangerous fungal relatives. C. Albicans to identify the vulnerability of this treacherous fungus

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Editor’s Note: This story is a summary of an article from The Conversation archives.

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