How Superbugs Threaten Your Food And Life

Sanchita Sharma | Hindustan Times | May 10, 2014

In April, the World Health Organisation declared that the problem "threatens the achievements of modern medicine." In May, the World Health Assembly commissioned the WHO to deliver a global action plan on it. In June, the British public voted to dedicate a government-sponsored £10 million Longitude Prize to solve this impending crisis.

And in September, the US President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a report on the problem and linked it to President Barack Obama's executive order to the National Security Council to develop a national action plan to fight it by February 2015.  This worrying problem causing as much global concern as terrorism is antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics, the wonder drugs that made surgery safe and stopped disease outbreaks by preventing and curing all infections four decades ago, can no longer do so.

Indiscriminate misuse, overuse and abuse of antibiotics has led to disease-causing bacteria developing hardier, resilient strains that survive antibiotics prescribed to kill them. These superbugs multiply and become unstoppable over time, forcing clinicians to use increasingly stronger medicines in more lethal doses to destroy them...