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Alternative drugs for mild infections could combat superbugs

WASHINGTON, Jan 1:
Developing alternatives to antibiotics for small infections could prevent bacteria from developing drug-resistance and help humans win the battle against superbugs, scientists say.
It has been widely reported that bacteria will evolve to render antibiotics mostly ineffective by mid-century, and current strategies to make up for the projected shortfalls have not worked.
Doctors are often quick to prescribe strong antibiotics for mild infections, helping bacteria evolve resistance to even the most potent drugs.
One possible problem is that drug development strategies have focused on replacing antibiotics in extreme infections, such as sepsis, where every minute without an effective drug increases the risk of death.
However, the evolutionary process that brings forth antibiotic resistance does not happen nearly as often in those big infections as it does in the multitude of small ones like sinusitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, and bladder infections, according to researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.
“Antibiotic prescriptions against those smaller ailments account for about 90 percent of antibiotic use, and so are likely to be the major driver of resistance evolution,” said Sam Brown, an associate professor at Georgia Tech. (PTI)

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