Antibiotic resistance, meat and existential risks. The end of modern medicine.

Imagine that our antibiotics stopped working, or that your life could be threatened, as it was in the middle ages, by a simple infection. This is not science fiction; it can happen if we continue using and abusing antibiotics the way we do today.

Yeray Lopez
Yeray Lopez

Antibiotic resistance. What is that?

Antibiotics are medicines, like Penicillin or Cephalosporin, used to prevent and treat bacterial infections and fight certain parasites. Unfortunately, they do not work against viral infections like the common cold or flu. That's why we are reminded each time we are suffering those malaises not to take antibiotics because they will only hurt us and might promote resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to these medicines and are no longer affected by them. In other words, they mutate to cope with the drug and survive it.

The World Health Organization states that antibiotic resistance is among our most worrying existential risks. It is dangerously rising to high levels in all parts of the world. In addition, new resistance mechanisms are appearing and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases.

As dreadful as it sounds, antibiotic resistance is one of the few examples of evolution that can be studied in real-time. As a result, we can perceive how bacteria change and become immune to our medical weaponry. That would spell "the end of modern medicine," making standard medical procedures such as surgeries incredibly risky.

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