We’ve Reached “The End of Antibiotics, Period”

In an interview for the PBS program “Frontline”, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, an associate director at the Centers for Disease Control, outlines the challenges the worldwide medical community faces as we reach the end of the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat common infections.

Srinivasan shares that some of the most important medical interventions like transplants and stem cell therapies will become increasingly impossible without the use of effective antibiotics. “We’re here. We’re in the post-antibiotic era. There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t. “

He connects the overuse of antibiotics to treat trivial infections and the prevalence of their use in livestock as major contributing factors to the rise of superbugs and emerging classes of bacteria that fail to respond to conventional antibiotic therapies. Srinivasan sees the effort to address the crisis of antibiotic resistance as extending beyond just governmental intercession and suggests that a concerted, multi-faceted approach is necessary to combat the ascension of new pathogens and the decline of useful drugs to treat them.

You can read the entire interview here, or watch the “Frontline” episode “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria” which features Dr. Srinivasan and many other experts that explore the likely scenarios that will emerge in the battle against antibiotic resistance by clicking here. A preview of the program can be seen below.