This is to followup on the messages now that I've read
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.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:07 MDT