Drug-resistant bacteria

Last night I happened upon a fascinating and frightening documentary on Frontline about the rise of certain types of deadly drug-resistant bacteria (also known as “super bugs”). While this is a major concern for healthy people with normal immune systems, it’s an even bigger one for those who have auto-immune diseases and compromised immune systems, such as RA. It’s not just the fact that these certain types of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, but the gene mutations that are seen to occur in people to transform “normal” bacterial infections into these super bugs–that’s what’s even more terrifying. Watching and listening to the stories of the people who became infected with these super bugs made me shudder, Wow if I get one of these I’ll survive about five minutes. OK that’s probably an exaggeration, but if these infections are ravaging and killing healthy bodies, I can’t imagine that those who have weak or compromised immune systems could survive them. Or can they? It’s a question worth finding out, I think. I also found it disheartening and rather appalling that the drug companies are not very invested or interested in working to create and bring to market new antibiotic treatments to treat these super bugs, according to the documentary. Why? Spending millions (billions?) of dollars on developing and marketing antibiotics isn’t very profitable because antibiotics are intended only for short-term use, compared to say, cholesterol medication you take every day for years. Or arthritis drugs which are also taken on a daily basis for a long time (imagine that!).

Anyway, this is an excellent documentary and I highly recommend watching it. Here’s the link:

“Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria”

Hope you find it interesting, and please feel free to comment!


3 thoughts on “Drug-resistant bacteria

  1. I watched this last night and was scared to death! I understand that drug companies can afford to spend millions to develop drugs like the biologics for RA because the patient needs them for the rest of their life. More guaranteed profit for them. I’m so sick and tired of greed driving the medical industry in this country. Maybe a child or grandchild of a drug company CEO will lose a fight with one of these super bugs and get motivated. That is what it always boils down to – personal experience and a weeping heart.

  2. Hi Marcia,
    Thanks for your comment! Yep, scary stuff. And yes, sadly, everything seems to be about profit and the bottom line. I’m interested to find out more about how involved the federal government is regarding this issue. There is definitely a growing problem regarding drug-resistance–it’s not just an isolated, freak thing that’s happening. More and more people will become affected.

  3. My rheumatologist told me to stay away from deli meats, hot dogs, and the like because of the biologic medicine I take for R.A. The bacteria present in those foods can be FATAL, yes that is right… fatal!
    Who would of ever thought that???!!!!

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