RE: those awful superbugs

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 13:00:29 MDT

This is to followup on the messages now that I've read
them all.

You've got perhaps several problems:
a) Antibiotic use in humans who only have viral infections
   prescribed by doctors who don't want to do the necessary
   tests (which cost $) or patients who strongly request
   the physician "do something".
b) Improper antibiotic use by humans. If the patients feel
   better they stop taking the prescription. This produces
   the increases the abundance of antibiotic resistant
   bacteria as Harvey discussed.
c) Overuse of antibiotics in food animals (because the farmers
   want to feed the critters and not the critters' critters).
   Then the bacteria that develop resistance to them are dumped
   into the environment (through feces) where they can share those
   genes with their cousins (via the bacterial viruses).
d) Natural selection environments such as hospitals where
   there is a big emphasis on getting rid of all of the
   bacteria. So you get a lot of use of antibiotics and
   bacteriocides. Eventually anything that survives will
   be something that has mutated its way around the killing

Its got nothing to do with GAIA fighting back. Its got to
do with the bacteria being at war with each other and us
providing environments that promote the survival of individuals
who would otherwise be out-competed due to the extra expense
of having to manufacture defensive systems that would be
useless in other environments.


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