A Conversation for Antibiotics and the Emergence of Bacterial Drug Resistance

Uff. so let's talk about it

Post 1

Dr Hell

I have to confess I had difficulties in concentrating on this very earnest text. The author is obviously involved in science (like myself) and has an extensive knowledge of the subject.

I specially liked the breaking of the tabu about Sir Alexander Fleming. Sure he has some merits, but he had more luck than anything else (If he had been a careful scientist he wouldn't even had made his discovery - paradox, but that kind of stuff always happens in science).

There are also some minor things I'd like to discuss:

Mercury (itself) is NOT toxic at all, like most noble metals it is not resorbed! As a compound it is even used as a mighty disinfectant (Mercurochrom), YET: Mercury fumes and certain mercury compounds (specially the ones with Hg in a lower oxidation level) are very dangerous.

Slightly resistant bacteria do NOT exist (it's like being slightly pregnant). As the author mentions in the same paragraph, bacteria exchange drug-resistance genes (in plasmids). So it is an EITHER/OR-case.

Apart from that it is a good article and has my recomendation.



PS: I'll never ever visit my grandmother in the hospice anymore!!!

Uff. so let's talk about it

Post 2


Hi Hell, thanks for the comments smiley - smiley

If its earnest that's because its mostly plagiarised from my PhD thesis smiley - winkeye Not the most humorous of texts you'll ever right I'm sure you'll agree. My St Andrews article (recently recommended yay!) is much better on humour front but the above subject doesn't really lend itself too well. Its gone down pretty well do far at Peer Review so I'm fairly happy with it.

Mercury itself is surely toxic as its a little difficult to use without breasthing the fumes (I'm sure they didn't have fume cupboards when it was used in the past) and anyway the fumes are the metal merely in gaseous form. Still its a moot point really, I'm sure if I commented that it was not toxic I would get a much more vehement response from people. Compounds of mercury, as you rightly say are far more poisonous (I've had to use them smiley - yuk).

I would dispute that bacteria are either resistant or not as resistance is measured in terms of dosage of antibiotic required to kill them. If I were to dig out my old references I could quote you figures but I remember a table showing the growth in dose of a particular cephalosporin needed to kill Staph aureus over the years. Patients are locked up in some places now to make sure they take their six months course of atibiotics to kill their TB infections as in the past they tended to be tramps who would bugger off an not finish it. When they came back the TB was always a little harder to kill. Also there are two term for vancomycin resistant MRSAs, one is VRSA (complete vancomyic resistant S. aureus) and VISA (intermediate vancomycin resistant s. aureus) - the latter of these is far the most common found (thankfully). The term complete resistance is a bit misleading really as they never are, its just they become so resistant that you cannot possibly administer to a patient enough of an antibiotic to actually kill it, it would either be too toxic to the patient or be above the level of saturation in water.
Many of the enzymes that inactivate antibiotics are more or less efficient than others and have to be expressed in high quantities to render the bacterium totally resistant.

Hope that doesn't read too argumentatively, I thank you for your comments and its good to hear from a non-layman on the subject as laymen will not come up with the most pertinent arguments on technical points (ie. whether they right or wrong).

Thanks for reading smiley - smiley

Uff. so let's talk about it

Post 3


I've changed mercury from being highly toxic to just toxic. Hope you approve smiley - smiley

Uff. so let's talk about it

Post 4

Dr Hell

Well Okay then, I am satisfied and fully recomend this article.

Good job.


Uff. so let's talk about it

Post 5


Cheers smiley - smiley

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