What’s all this talk about super bugs? Isn’t that what bit Spider Man and gave him those super-spidey powers? Unfortunately, the super bugs I am referring to are not siding with the good guys. These bugs are mutated to withstand even the strongest of antibiotics, rendering them unstoppable… or are they?
Here’s some background on AMR… Antimicrobial resistance happens when bacteria become overexposed to antimicrobials (aka antibiotics.) Through a combination of natural selection and mutation, these bacteria become resistant, and the antimicrobials can’t effectively work. This is where the term “super bug” was coined. Seemingly normal bacteria transforms into an indestructible force bent on world domination.
Who is at fault for this? I don’t mean to point any fingers, but it’s kind of us. Yes, the human race is responsible for creating these terrifying, little organisms that in fact do nothing for us but cause our own destruction. So why would humans sabotage themselves by creating this devastating problem that kills people and animals across the world? The issue is, many people are unknowingly doing this.
Have you ever been given a course of antibiotics and stopped taking them when you felt better? Makes sense, right? You aren’t sick anymore, so why would you need to keep taking the medication? What many people aren’t aware of is that when you don’t finish that entire course of antibiotics, some of the bacteria gets left behind. These bacteria are not enough to cause current clinical signs. However, having been exposed to the antibiotic, they can mutate and become resistant so that that same antibiotic loses efficacy against the mutated bacteria.
This is just one instance on how humans can unknowingly create these super bugs.
AMR and prudent use of antibiotics is a hot topic right now all over the world; from the UN and World Health Organization - to country, regional and local levels. However, there is a lot of work to be done to get the appropriate information to the right people in order to educate and change behaviors.. I am here to help uncover mysteries and bring to light information on what we are doing as breeders, pet owners, and veterinarians that may be contributing to this pandemic. No sole group is to blame for this, but together, we can form a global power to tackle the super bugs.
Just remember… “With great power comes great responsibility.”