Experts warn of an apocalypse but new drugs won’t be developed unless they can turn a profit
An apocalypse is looming, warn the public health experts. The spectre of a benighted world where humankind again falls prey to bacterial plagues, wiping out the frail and the young, has been hanging over us for many years now. Infections we have conquered, such as pneumonia and typhoid, will return to kill us. Surgery and chemotherapy for cancer will carry huge risks.
It’s a distant scenario as yet, but it cannot be dismissed as alarmist rhetoric. Antibiotics are no longer the cure-all for bacterial infections that they once were. Antimicrobial resistance is real. Microbes – both bacteria and viruses – are fighting back, developing resistance to the drugs invented to wipe them out. It’s an evolutionary thing. Bugs were here before we were and are evolving to survive us.
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