Antibiotics given for free in Florida Joe Raedle/Getty Images

有效的抗生素

墨西哥城——从1928年发现青霉素到二十世纪六十年代最后一批主要抗生素进入市场,人类抵御病原菌的能力发生了极大的变革。但是,随着时间的推移,细菌易感的抗生素数量正在逐渐减少,并且某些病原体已经对多数或所有现有药物产生了耐药反应。结果导致曾经可以治疗的感染正在重新变得致命。

目前,抗生素耐药性每年导致约70,000人死亡,由此造成高达成百上千亿美元的财务损失。由于抗生素耐药性继续影响我们治疗癌症、移植器官和植入假体,抗生素耐药性造成的损失将会更加严重。

抗生素耐药性上升是由诸多因素共同导致的。细菌可以快速繁殖和突变,并能建立某种类似“基因互联网”的网络,允许某些病原菌“下载”抗生素耐药基因。此外,多数抗生素是土壤细菌的天然产物,而抗生素耐药性可以在土壤菌群中自然产生。当大规模引入人造抗生素时,具有耐药性的细菌就会越来越盛行。

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