Friday, August 08, 2008

New Yorker on Superbugs

Still catching up after being out sick with an antibiotic resistant infection. But I had to post on this one. The New Yorker has new piece by Jerome Groopman on, well, antibiotic resistant bacteria. See Medical Dispatch: Superbugs: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

Thanks to Saul J for pointing this out.

I particularly like the ending
No one, Moellering said, has developed a way to disarm bacteria sufficiently to allow the human body to naturally and consistently defend against them. I asked him what we should do to combat these new superbugs. “Nobody has the answer right now,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that we have found all the easy targets” for drug development. He went on, “So the only other thing we can do is continue to work on antibiotic stewardship.” Meanwhile, new resistant bacteria, Moellering asserted, aren’t going to go away. “We can temper things, we might be able to slow the rate of emergence of resistance, but it’s unlikely that we will ever be able to conquer it.”


  1. Well, Linus Pauling and confederates were big fans of mega-doses of vitamin C given intravenously.

    I don't know if this has been looked at by any recent research.

  2. well, here is how I view the vitamin C thing. Pauling was one smart person. It may not really help. But I take it when I remember to. Not at the doses he suggested but still ... I give him the benefit of the doubt.

  3. Clearly a well researched piece - did you see the discussion of Smith et al PLoS Medicine 2005 in the article? :-)

  4. Another thing that comes through clearly in this article is that many of these infections originate in hospitals. Hospitals are very dangerous places.