Antibiotic Resistance: Back to the Future

In today's Pittsburgh Tribune Review is an article by Mike Wereschagin detailing the public health emergency posed by antimicrobial resistance. I was interviewed (alongside the leading voice on this topic, Dr. Brad Spellberg of UCLA!) for this important article and made a few points that included:

  • Alexander Fleming prophetically warned of this trend in the 1940s
  • In my own career, I have had to "treat" totally drug resistant infections and have seen patients succumb to their infections
  • The need to move from non-specific therapies such as broad spectrum antibiotics to targeted therapies such as bacteriophages and antibodies (which were the mainstay of treatment prior to the discovery of antimicrobials, see Arrowsmith)
  • Brian Potoski, a stellar infectious disease pharmacist and my colleague, makes the point about the danger of using antimicrobials for common viral infections (which is incorrectly done the majority of the time)

Adding to the information contained in this article, is a small piece I wrote detailing the Lancet Infectious Diseases report on the issue and their recommendations, which include exploring the "age-old" phage therapy."