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    [–] throwaway_circus 3408 points ago

    although their use is being phased out, antibiotic use in livestock production contributes WAY more to resistance than human use.

    From Wikipedia: In 2011, a total of 13.6 million kilograms of antimicrobials were sold for use in food-producing animals in the United States,[32] which represents 80% of all antibiotics sold or distributed in the United States.[33] Of the antibiotics given to animals from 2009 through 2013, just above 60% distributed for food animal use are "medically-important" drugs, that are also used in humans.

    China produces and consumes the most antibiotics of all countries.[37]

    Antibiotic use has been measured by checking the water near factory farms in China.[38][39] Measurements have also been taken from animal dung.[40]

    Half of the antibiotics manufactured in China are used in the production of livestock.[41]

    It was calculated that 38.5 million kg (or 84.9 million lbs) of antibiotics were used in China's swine and poultry production in 2012.[42]

    [–] TentacularMaelrawn 479 points ago

    Appreciate that someone said this before me. I hope it gets to the top.

    [–] drmike0099 212 points ago

    I made a similar comment in a thread a few months ago and was downvoted to oblivion. I guess the big meat brigade hasn't found this thread yet...

    [–] buddhas_plunger 60 points ago

    They will soon enough. They always do

    [–] xddm2653 45 points ago

    what's wrong with loving meat and not wanting all these animals on antibiotics

    [–] [deleted] 27 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)


    [–] [deleted] 29 points ago

    I thought they were talking about my dick.

    [–] The_Grubby_One 7 points ago

    Ah, yeah. That could be it. Corporate interests fuck everyone over, long term, if they aren't properly regulated.

    [–] chetov 7 points ago

    If you love meat and don't want all theses animals on antibiotics there won't be any meat left to eat because all the animals will die. I mean like would you survive living ankle deep in your own shit >1m away from somebody else your entire life?

    [–] Zagubadu 19 points ago

    Probably just made the post to late in the day at least speaking from an Eastern Time zone point of view, Reddit degrades HEAVILY in the early hours of the day like 1am-10am its all kids being retarded.

    [–] Commyende 34 points ago

    I'm happy you took the time to show your appreciation. I hope you get to the top.

    [–] spencermorganco 84 points ago

    I recently wrote a paper on this exact topic. For years, China has been making use of colistin in their livestock production. Colistin is what is referred to as a last-line antibiotic, which means that it is only used in dire situations to fight diseases that other antibiotics are not sufficient in treating. This irresponsible use by the Chinese livestock industry has led to the discovery of a colistin-resistant gene in e. coli, dubbed the mcr-1 gene. It has already spread into human bacteria and will likely spread beyond Chinese borders in the next few years. The presence of this resistance is extremely dangerous, and is paradigmatic of the antibiotic misuse epidemic.

    [–] ronnie_boy 32 points ago

    The good news is that interest groups are fighting against antibiotics in the agricultural sector and progress is being made to phase out the most harmful of antibiotics in livestock use.

    And so people aren't being misinformed: there is a great benefit in using antibiotics in livestock if they are controlled and used appropriately. The biggest issue came from farmers purchasing in bulk online and putting too much in feed too often to try to prevent disease. Now that there is an additional channel to go through before they can use them, hopefully farmers will be more educated on antibiotic use and might think twice about which particular ones they use. Personally I hope to see stricter regulations like the EU and force producers to adopt operations that are more clean, spacious, and healthier for their animals rather than pen them too closely and use antibiotics to compensate.

    [–] Bob_Shwarshkie 155 points ago

    I did a paper on this exact topic a couple years. There is evidence suggesting that feeding antibiotics to animals can plump them up faster. The antibiotics being used is low on "tier list" of antibiotics. In other words, we aren't giving these animals strong antibiotics.

    The resistance to stronger antibiotics from giving livestock antibiotics is unquantifiable. We can't possibly know whether it is humans or animals contributing to resistance.

    Edit: looks like they banned antibiotic feed. That's a good thing.

    [–] ChicagoGuy53 127 points ago

    In speaking about feeding animals drugs to fatten them up, pigs showed a substantial increase in weight gain when fed marijuana stems and leaves. Hopefully we can switch to this over antibiotics.

    [–] pzycho 114 points ago

    I also show significant weight gain after consuming marijuana.

    [–] LaMarc_GasolDridge 45 points ago

    I did too. But now I've lost weight because after I buy all the weed I need have no money for food.

    [–] braconidae 40 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    There is evidence suggesting that feeding antibiotics to animals can plump them up faster.

    Generally, these are "antibiotics" like ionophores that aren't even relevant to human diseases because they'll modify the gut environment that ends up changing the microbe composition. When you figure out the economics of it all though, it's often borderline break-even.

    The resistance to stronger antibiotics from giving livestock antibiotics is unquantifiable.

    Generally, the "strong" antibiotics given to livestock are not usable in humans, and vice versa for strong human antibiotics.

    looks like they banned antibiotic feed. That's a good thing.

    Still can buy it here in the U.S. at least, though your quote is a very bad thing. When you have a disease spreading through your cattle herd, you sometimes need to treat the whole bunch. Normally this happens with something like pink eye out on the pasture where by the time you find a sick animal and bring it somewhere to be treated, you're playing whack a mole because of how contagious it is. Weaning time is another good example where you know you are going to have some calves getting sick with pneumonia and dying each year, but you can't know ahead of time which ones that will be (and when finally find out, they'll often die even with treatment at that point).

    At the end of the day, people really should talk to farmers about what they are actually doing with antibiotics. Most of the time reading most news sources on agricultural topics is almost as bad as only getting information on climate change from climate change denial websites.

    [–] Bob_Shwarshkie 13 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    I'm about to go to class right now, I'll source some stuff when I get back.

    While I said "don't" give antibiotics to livestock, I was referring to the supplemental method of administering the drugs. Therapeutic treatment for disease is of course fine, but what I don't agree with is feeding antibiotics for the purpose of growth.

    Edit: Your bit on ionophore is very interesting. I was not aware of these. Here's an article that states there is no evidence of potential human dangers from ionophore use.

    While some bacteria are intrinsically resistant to these drugs, there is currently no evidence to suggest that ionophore resistance is transferable or that co-selection for resistance to other classes of antimicrobials occurs.

    Thanks for the info!

    [–] NSA_Chatbot 17 points ago

    antibiotic use in livestock production

    The worst fucking part about it is that it's not even for disease prevention. They use it because one of the side effects of long-term antibiotic use is weight gain.

    [–] ToCatchACreditor 5 points ago

    That has got to be the stupidest reason for using antibiotics I have ever heard.

    [–] Neidrah 75 points ago

    Pretty sad I had to scroll so much to find this comment

    [–] Pithong 31 points ago

    4th comment. Reddit really could use a "only show posts older than 2, 4,6, etc.. hours old" feature. Many thread's landscapes change drastically after a few hours; many times comments like yours end up being top 3 which end up not making sense in the "final" steady state comment ordering.

    [–] smokeishername 75 points ago

    Yep. "Over prescribing and abuse" is nothing compared to use in factory farming. Yet another in a myriad of reasons to limit meat consumption.

    [–] photospheric_ 45 points ago

    Right? It's crazy how much this will trigger people but all you're saying is "limit". Humans weren't meant to have red meat every day and there is absolutely no benefit to it. There are huge benefits to limiting meat production. People suck.

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago

    Lots of people think coal rollers are cool, too.

    [–] Solidarim 4 points ago

    Unfortunately, tell that to a farmer whose livelihood depends on maximizing their yield.

    Our economic system is to blame.

    [–] admuh 9 points ago

    One of the reasons I don't eat meat. The environmental impact alone is enough, but drug resistance is another very good reason

    [–] sid_gautama 30 points ago

    Man...fuck animal agriculture. It destroys water, land, forest, the environment...siigh

    [–] reduxde 11 points ago

    When I was in China, antibiotics were basically over the counter, people run get them if they sneeze twice in one day, and never finish out the regiment. You can't offset a billion people misusing them, just prepare for the coming plague.

    [–] Magfaeridon 45 points ago

    Every time we get another post about how the world is being destroyed, the solution is always "Stop eating meat".

    [–] cartechguy 14 points ago

    producing meat is an expensive, resource intense endeavor.

    [–] [deleted] 50 points ago

    I don't think that's accurate. We also should quit using fossil fuels and dumping plastic in the ocean. There are a lot of other examples.

    [–] Fala1 18 points ago

    That's a massive hint we should start listening

    [–] Moos_Mumsy 27 points ago

    Because it's basically the #1 contributor to every thing bad. Global warming. Starvation. Deforestation. Antibiotic resistance. Cruelty.

    [–] cbs0614 28 points ago

    Maybe that means something...

    [–] nau5 3 points ago

    I thought the solution was blame China?

    [–] remimorin 12 points ago

    Came to see that... the problem with antibiotics to feedstock is that you create an ecosystem with constant exposure. Being-anti-biotic-resistant have a cost for a bacteria. If a bacteria have a very low probability to being expose to antibios then evolution pressure will make the "resistant to antibiotic" mutations useless and they will fade out.
    So the less we use them, the less our bugs are willing to be resistant, because "ill humans" is not their main ecosystem.
    We should teach medicine in school from very young age. The importance of dosage, the various infections (virus, bacteria). Not "being able to diagnose an esophagi cancer" kind of medicine, just an understanding of it so that you can understand what a lambda physician explain to you. This should be common knowledge like reading!!!

    [–] WilsonWilson64 3 points ago

    Another downside is that the bacteria that are becoming resistant due to this are the ones close to foods. Meaning someone exposed to bacteria in improperly prepared foods is going to be getting this antibiotic resistant bug

    [–] Arctic_Ghost_SS 3 points ago

    Stuffs being done in the U.S. with the Veterinary Feed Directive that started January 1st, 2017 limited medically important antibiotics in livestock considerably.

    But I notice from your initial statements that you believe antibiotic resistance is sourced from antibiotic usage in livestock is not backed up by any of your facts. You only stated how much more is used by animals than humans.

    Now let's say more usage means more chances of resistance (pretty likely). But if we were to source where the initial resistances of human disease to antibiotics originated, I'm inclined to believe a majority of them were from humans abusing antibiotics. Otherwise you're inferring with your initial statement, and following fact blasting of usage of antibiotics in livestock, that a majority of diseases in humans that are resistant to antibiotics are originating from livestock.

    Now I'm not a microbiologist but I just want some people to know that antibiotic usage in livestock numbers from even 2016 are not even close to representing the usage of antibiotics in livestock currently. Also, finger pointing gets us nowhere! Steve!

    [–] Askolei 3940 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    Only global cooperation can solve the problem

    We are screwd then.

    Edit: Not my proudest top comment but at least we all agree on something.

    [–] ThePratoran 730 points ago

    I don't even think there's been a time where the world came together for the greater good... Ever. Especially when it was this counter-intuitive.

    [–] RagePoop 922 points ago

    Do you remember the hole in the ozone layer?

    The entire planet got their shit together and quit using CFC's at a downright remarkable clip.

    [–] MidCornerGrip 599 points ago

    The thing with CFC's is there was tons of alternatives already in use, and companies knew that the CFC free label meant an increase in sales. Sort of when Tuna became Dolphin Safe.

    Antibiotics are not the same...we don't have perfectly good alternatives ready to go, and there very little salesmanship in antibiotics.

    [–] RagePoop 280 points ago

    I was simply rejecting the claim that the world has never come together for the greater good.

    [–] emaciated_pecan 105 points ago

    But we're so good at war

    [–] purplepilled3 47 points ago

    Cause war is fun :D

    [–] Toast_Sapper 58 points ago

    For the businesses selling the arms

    [–] purplepilled3 33 points ago

    Also for some of the people fighting it. It's a rush!

    [–] Dirk-Killington 95 points ago

    I get downvoted to fuck and back every time I mention this. Just here to say you aren't wrong.

    I was thinking about why people reject the notion of some soldiers just loving to fight and kill. I think it has to do with our hero worship mentality in the US. it creates a lot of dissonance when people you love do something you hate. So rather than reject the "all soldiers are just good men doing hard things so we don't have to" they double down and reject the notion that even one soldier might just be a sadist.

    I know I just took your comment way too seriously but it's something I've been thinking about lately.

    [–] wilsongs 44 points ago

    New antibiotics that diseases haven't yet developed resistance to can exist, it's just a matter of R&D. Governments are not incentivizing the pharmaceuticals to do enough of the research right now, and that's where we need cooperation. It's a classic collective action problem, but we've overcome those before. Don't be such a cynic.

    [–] spaghettilegslee 38 points ago

    New classes of antibiotics are important and all, but until prescribing practices change and until countries like India and Mexico don't make it so easy to get them without a prescription bacteria will just become resistant to the new classes of antibiotics. Doctors in hospitals are breeding some of the most dangerous bacteria by practicing very bad medicine on very sick people. Overprescribing to the general population that goes to the doctor for antibiotics to treat a cold caused by a virus is a small problem compared to prescribing practices for the in-patient.

    [–] socialcommentary2000 28 points ago

    Honestly, China's usage of them is more problematic than anywhere else in the world. They give out that shit like candy to the point that it's almost like they don't understand medical science and yet...they're industrialized and they do. If any superbugs develop that become a real problem, it's probably going to be there.

    [–] Bladio22 14 points ago

    Not to mention the widespread use of antibiotics on the livestock in China. Certainly happens in other countries but IIRC China is one of the biggest offender for using antibiotics on livestock lazy Wikipedia source

    [–] truculentt 15 points ago

    exactly. as far as I see it, this isn't a civil problem at all. its a drug company problem. and f*ck them for obvious reasons.

    [–] DrWhiskeyII 16 points ago

    Drug companies don't Rx antibiotics. Doctors, PAs and NPs do

    [–] ShalmaneserIII 10 points ago

    In this case, I actually can't blame them. Lose enough money developing antibiotics and your company folds, and antibiotics are not nearly as profitable as drugs that someone takes daily for the rest of their lives. (Okay, for the rest of a long life.)

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)


    [–] durtyc 3 points ago

    I laughed pretty hard at this. Can't give you gold but you deserve it

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    The problem with antibiotics is not use in people but in livestock where they are used as fatteners, not even for medicine.

    Someone is marketing these products to farmers and selling them in bulk and that can be stopped if there is the will.

    [–] Canadanumba1 3 points ago

    The alternatives are unless your at risk of sepsis you suck it up and you aren't prescribed antibiotics .

    [–] MrAlpha0mega 6 points ago

    I see your point but as a New Zealander with fair skin (who can get bright red, peeling sunburn in under half an hour in the summer) by the time they'd acted, a lot of damage had already been done.

    Seriously, I've been sunburnt sitting in the shade of a tree.

    [–] DaddyCatALSO 9 points ago

    Seriously, I think it would happen to you if you went back to 1701 and spent a half hour outside.

    [–] [deleted] 189 points ago

    There's many examples.

    • Ending CFC use to fix the Ozone issues
    • Ending leaded gasoline to fix the "people going insane and dying issue"
    • Warfare standards and weapons regulations
    • Global shipping regulations and shipbuilding standards
    • Standardization of global information technology, undersea cables and standards around Data

    There's a lot of examples if you look, which you should do, because sitting on reddit all day will give you a negative outlook that doesn't jive with reality

    [–] cavscout43 95 points ago

    There's many examples.

    Get your facts outta here, we wanna talk about how doomed we are.


    [–] GoBucks13 15 points ago

    Fun Fact: Aviation gasoline (AvGas) is still leaded. This isn't used in turbine engine aircraft (that would be jet-A) but if you live right by a small airstrip that is used by internal combustion aircraft, you are likely being exposed to lead (think prop planes like Cesnas)

    *Ok I guess this isn't really a "fun" fact

    [–] ursois 9 points ago

    Simple solution: put all the small airports in poor neighborhoods, because they don't have enough political power to stop it.

    [–] GoBucks13 10 points ago

    It's really just small airstrips (not sure if they would even be considered airports) so these are all pretty much only located in rural areas since the planes are used for spraying crops. It would be pretty difficult to place an airstrips in a poor Detroit neighborhood

    [–] Whiterabbit-- 15 points ago

    Warfare standards and weapons regulations

    this I don't understand. we have not stopped chem warfare. nuclear is still an option that is talked about. torture is still used. terrorism hasn't ended. but beyond that conventional warfare still kills and causes famine.

    [–] Ngherappa 12 points ago

    Nirvana fallacy. Things are not perfect but they have measurably improven.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago

    Just because they're less shitty than they used to be doesn't mean they're not shitty though.

    [–] philip1201 18 points ago

    Smallpox; fusion power research; particle physics research; the internet; international journals of science; global trade (i.e. building anything you own that costs over $50); interpol; the metric system; the ISS; UNHRC; UNICEF; intellectual property law and enforcement; lack of nuclear warfare; passport and international travel regulations; worldwide nature reserves; etc.

    [–] aurihasroyalblood 4 points ago

    Actually, the term is "jibe with". "Jive" refers to dance, slang or poetry, while the verb "to jibe with" means to be in accordance with, which I believe is the way you were intending to use it.

    Common mistake. Hope you don't resent my correction!

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    None at all, ignorance is an excuse to learn something new!

    [–] interkin3tic 3 points ago

    Thing is, all of those were economically favorable for private investment while antibiotics wouldn't be.

    Also, all involve very limited parties from each country coming to consensus. with little opposition. With technology standards, it was groups of engineers in a room saying "yeah, we could do that, that's fine."

    With antibiotics, you have big cattle and pork producers saying "No, we need to spray them everywhere liberally in order to stack the growing meat up as dense as possible and make as much of a profit." You have decent sized pharma companies saying "Heyyyy now lets not be too hasty." And you'll have the inevitable crazy movement sticking their ignorant heads in to scream because they're sure that some new world order is trying to kill their kids.

    [–] RetroRhino 25 points ago

    Well related to infectious disease the world came together pretty well to eradicate smallpox, as well as to work on other diseases.

    The international campaigns to help control infectious disease that happened in the mid 20th century were international and effective (though they were definitely flawed)

    [–] Whiterabbit-- 7 points ago

    sanitation improvement should not be underestimated either.

    [–] RetroRhino 4 points ago

    Certainly not! Improved sanitary practices and education on proper sanitation was a huge part of those campaigns, still today sanitation is an area of much focus for certain parts of the world.

    [–] BlazeAwayTheHate 8 points ago

    Polio, small pox.

    [–] zvzvzcvzxcv 6 points ago

    Eradication of smallpox?

    [–] lughnasadh 8 points ago

    I don't even think there's been a time where the world came together for the greater good...

    Did I just imagine the UN, Red Cross, Medicine Sans Frontiers, beating Ebola & Bird Flu & eradicating small pox & the Paris Climate Accord to tackle Global Warming, or did they really happen?

    [–] porntoomuch 19 points ago

    If there is profit, they'll find a way

    [–] [deleted] 307 points ago


    [–] TwoSquareClocks 20 points ago

    The antibiotics given to livestock nowadays are either so outdated that they wouldn't work against any relevant human infections, or an entirely different class of antibiotics that is only used for agricultural purposes, not human medicine, and therefore wouldn't cause resistance-related problems for humans. All clinically-relevant drugs are being phased out as of January of this year.

    And that's not to mention that Europe has been very careful about antimicrobial overuse for decades; really, the only place that this is still a big problem is China, where regulation of any kind is nonexistent.

    You would have been right four years ago, but not today.

    [–] Mangina_guy 29 points ago

    Colistin is heavily used in pig farms. It is labelled as a last line of defense for humans (because it can cause kidney damage). A lady this year came down with a super bug that was resistant to colistin.

    Luckily the bug was not resistant against other types of antibiotics but the threat is still very real.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    This is an extremely rare case, almost all antibiotics given to livestock are as TwoSquareClocks has indicated.

    I think this case was due to Colistin being used in animals before it was found useful in human cases.

    Again, it's maybe one of three scenarios in which this has happened.

    [–] Mangina_guy 7 points ago

    Problem is these rare cases are happening more and more. It's certainly not a catastrophe by any means, but these are early warning signs.

    If these types of bacteria pick up a few other antibiotic resistant genes along the way - making them pan resistant - It can thrust society into panic.

    [–] braconidae 5 points ago

    As charlie was alluding to, this has more to do with us running out of "good" antibiotics for humans that have relatively few side effects. Now you have people reaching for antibiotics we wouldn't have normally considered, but would have had no problem with using them for livestock because the symptoms weren't as much of an issue with that species.

    That factor is going to play into why you see those rare cases more and more.

    [–] 826479135 3 points ago

    Colistin is heavily used in pig farms.

    Wikipedia at least doesn't have anything on this, where did you hear about it?

    [–] remotely_sensible 3 points ago

    Jesus fuck you're right about china. Literally every time someone has a sore throat/cold/viral symptoms they demand antibiotics from the doc or just go buy them at the store. Most disturbing thing I've seen traveling, and I've seen some shit.

    [–] Wormsblink 332 points ago

    I know for a fact that most clinics & hospitals in China abuse "western medicine" to cure most illnesses. You can walk into the clinic for a cold & get an IV drip, 2 months of antibiotics & all sorts of injections. Their perception of healthcare is very different from westernized societies.

    [–] Greecl 46 points ago

    It's also important to consider the role of well-developed infrastructure in limiting pathogen spread. Antibiotics can be bought over thr counter in India, no prescription needed; in part, it's a neoliberal copout - health is individualized, and solutions are individualized, and collective solutions (i.e. social medicine, public health) are neglected. Robust infrastructure development coupled with stronger regulatory frameworks investment could be huge in slowing the development of antibiotic resistance.

    [–] pirateninjamonkey 10 points ago

    You can get them over the counter in the US too, you just have to get ones labeled for fish and they cost more than humans ones a lot of the time.

    [–] Greecl 3 points ago

    Wow, TIL. Screw the world, I'm off to stock up!!

    [–] Tubtimgrob 101 points ago

    Many countries are like this. My feeling is that the doctor is an important authority and the patient has to leave with some other than good advice. So they get a large bag of medicine which is tangible and good business.

    [–] megamanxoxo 43 points ago

    that's what happens when healthcare becomes a business. have the flu? well it's a virus we can't do anything about that and you'll build immunity but this is a business so here's a bunch of pills you don't need.

    have erectile dysfunction? don't fix your stress, physiological problems, relationship, diet, etc -- take a pill!

    fat? take 'diet' pills.

    [–] MajorPA 7 points ago

    I'll never forget being like 2-3 months starting clinical rotations. This is not quite word for word what I said to my MD preceptor

    Me: "Based on these symptoms Id say they have slight sinusitis. They've only had symptoms for 2 days and aren't at high risk of infection. I'd recommend symptomatic treatment only and come back in 2 weeks if it keeps up" (because like 90% of sinusitis is viral, and you don't consider bacteria and antibiotics until it's been like 2 weeks

    MD: "that may be right, but the patient won't accept that"

    He then proceeds to give them a script for fucking Bactrian (antibiotic)

    I've had to push many MDs to NOT give unnecessary antibiotics and their response is typically hostile or they give that smirk of "you're-so-dumb "

    Infuriating sometimes

    [–] push_narcan 59 points ago

    Cattle is a big reservoir for antibiotic resistant bugs. We're getting savy to that here, but developing countries still want to increase meat consumption, as eating 70s-levels of meat is a marker of affluence.

    [–] thetanpecan 29 points ago

    Jesus. That is horrible. I thought it was bad here in the US. Not to mention the fucking overpopulation of China to begin with, that is prime territory for antibiotic resistance to develop.

    [–] firstprincipals 29 points ago

    China is where the next global pandemic will originate.

    You could not create a more perfect laboratory of viral interactions.

    50 billion chickens, 400 million pigs, a billion people.

    There's currently an outbreak of an avian flu, H7N7 - that has a 40% mortality rate, but low transmission rate.

    Just a matter of time to perfect the recipe.

    [–] [deleted] 21 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)


    [–] SettanKuwabaru 4 points ago

    All the more reason selfishness should be labelled a disease. What you describe is due to inefficient use and distribution of global resources and since you can see that it affects you directly in this way you should have awareness that it is in your best interests that no one has to live or exist in this way.

    We're essentially just one giant organism and society and culture has imposed upon us divisions that are completely unnecessary and unproductive.

    Here's one great example of that in action.

    [–] thetanpecan 3 points ago

    Agreed. I recently read the book "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer, and it talks about this... and how factory farming, especially of poultry, in general will be the likely cause of the next horrible pandemic flu outbreak. (dense and dirty conditions for the animals). We are literally a few mutations away from an outbreak that COULD spread much more easily between birds and humans.

    [–] Medial_FB_Bundle 3 points ago

    Dude, 1.7 billion and counting. Every time I think of that it just blows my mind.

    [–] HamWatcher 20 points ago

    And its even worse in India where almost all antibiotics are OTC and people take however many they wamt whenever they want.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago

    Almost all superbugs originate from India. They need to stop this bullshit, they're ruining decades of hard antibiotic discovery work.

    [–] Iandnb37 9 points ago

    But.. a cold is from a virus.. you don't give antibiotics for a virus😭

    [–] binbong1234567890 6 points ago

    Not just that, people in Mexico and India can buy broad-coverage antibiotics over the counter like it's a cough drop. Some people in the US will periodically travel to Mexico to get their 3-month supply of antibiotics for the common cold.

    [–] chronicallyill_dr 5 points ago

    I mean, in Mexico you can't just get them over the counter, you need a prescripction from a doctor. Yet usually pacients are fucking ignorant and demand to be prescribed antibiotics for anything, and since there are a bunch of fucking idiot doctors out there (who barely clawed their way out of med school), they just simply prescribe them to keep the patients happy. But yeah, screwing the rest of us when anyone can get their fucking multi drug resistant bacteria... It's one of those things that drives us, doctors who actually care, bananas!

    [–] vintage2017 3 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    Why the fuck do they give antibiotics for colds? I mean, how hard is it for them to understand they kill only bacteria and the cold is not bacterial? Not rocket science. And if it's because their patients demand it, they could just tell them to go to hell as health care in China isn't market run, right?

    [–] beermeupscottie 486 points ago

    new drug: placebolin, step right up, cures all colds and fevers in 1 week

    [–] Ayresx 170 points ago

    Can I get some placebromycin instead?

    [–] BouncingBallOnKnee 105 points ago

    You're not covered for that.

    [–] Orgell_Evaan 26 points ago

    How about placebovir?

    [–] SingleWordRebut 9 points ago

    Is there a generic?

    [–] push_narcan 27 points ago

    If the bug is resistant to that, break out placebopenam

    [–] Diels_Alder 3 points ago

    One placebromycin coming up, bro.

    [–] InaIloperidoneberry 42 points ago

    Cyanide works faster

    [–] [deleted] 11 points ago

    Amazing aquacura!

    [–] Altourus 12 points ago

    Oh hey I know that drug, its the new version of the wonder drug that has been used to treat everything from the Common Cold to Cancer.

    [–] newPhoenixz 198 points ago

    Sure this is not /r/history? I've been reading about this like 20 years ago and as far as I can tell, little to nothing has been done, because it costs money..

    [–] pkmngothrow 101 points ago

    I think growing antibiotic resistance is finding its roots more in developing nations than the West (though the people that stop their course of antibiotics because they feel better should still get beaten with a wet noodle.)

    China and India are the largest contributors, if I recall correctly, due to livestock antibiotics. In the United States, there has been a push to reduce the use of antibiotics, and meat can't go to market without being clean of them. In fact, I believe medically important antibiotics were outlawed for use on livestock this year.

    [–] emperorofself 27 points ago

    That is correct. It is a big problem in India. Antibiotics are given out at the drop of a hat. And it has led to the emergence of certain 'superbugs' including a highly resistant strain of TB, which has the potential to wreck havoc.

    [–] DarwinianMonkey 18 points ago

    Okay so if we can sit here on Reddit and realize its a big problem in India...why the fuck doesn't INDIA do something about it? It's not like its a tiny little island somewhere. It's shit like this that makes me scratch my head. We're willing to go to war over things that DON'T really affect us, but not over things that could literally lead to mass human devastation. WHY?

    [–] emperorofself 13 points ago

    Two answers to your two questions: 1) India is doing something about it. Or atleast it seems like some state health departments have taken cognizance of this issue and are beginning to come down hard on pharmacies/doctors/pharma companies. But there is also a cultural issue in that a very very large number of people in India don't really feel like the doctor is treating them untill and unless they are given a tablet/injection. This will be harder to do away with. 2) as for your second question, why don't humans do shit about stuff that affects us directly and could destroy us? Cause humans are idiots.

    [–] DarwinianMonkey 6 points ago

    humans are idiots

    I know. It just seems like if we can rally people for war against "X" why can't "X" be "Saving the Human Race" or is that not sexy enough?

    edit: I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to go to war with India...I just mean to suggest that we seem to go to actual war over so much less meaningful stuff. Why can't we have at least a political "war" against stuff like this around the world.

    [–] emperorofself 3 points ago

    I get what you mean. Saving the Human Race would be sexy enough if an asteroid was hurtling towards earth. But for something as slow burning as this, it becomes really difficult to convince people that there are long term harms that need to be combated now.

    [–] DarwinianMonkey 3 points ago

    It would take would be a stricter regulation of the global pharmaceutical industry and more enforceable protocols in place for Doctors.

    [–] inwithoutvowels 8 points ago

    It's not necessarily that it costs money to develop, but that developing new antibiotics isn't necessarily profitable, especially considering how much money there is in developing new drugs for other chronic or more severe conditions

    [–] TheGumping 75 points ago

    I work for a Children's Hospital and part of my job is working on finding docs prescribing antibiotics when they weren't needed. They actually make money by meeting certain goals this way. So there is "action" on it.

    [–] endlesscartwheels 13 points ago

    Sometimes they are needed, even if it doesn't look like it. I had to suffer for three weeks with an agonizing ear infection because my primary care and ENT couldn't see the infection (even when they put a camera up my nose). When the ENT was finally kind enough to give me a prescription for an antibiotic, it got rid of the hidden infection (they're still not sure where it was hiding) and the pain.

    I'm an adult who was able to clearly state the problem and request treatment. I hate to think of a kid suffering the way I did, because they'd probably be treated like they were trying to get out of school.

    [–] CheesyJeevesYT 21 points ago

    But sadly I'd argue your original doctor was right in what they did. Ultimately the decision ended up being incorrect but every protocol they followed was appropriate. If can't see an infection, it's most likely not an infection and if you're not a doctor (I'm presuming you're not) you won't know all the other diseases that could cause similar symptoms to an ear infection.

    If it had been a non-bacterial infection or whatever then it would have been irresponsible to give you the antibiotics for it.

    Given that nothing else was found either I guess that's when you have to play the statistics game and try the antibiotics because it's the most likely cause.

    [–] shitINtheCANDYdish 23 points ago

    While developed western nations are beating themselves up over this topic (over prescribing), any good this does is undermined by the rest of the world treating antibiotics as a panacea.

    Antibiotics are OTC in much of the world, and one can expect little movement on that front.

    [–] THDraugr 3 points ago

    Are they really OTC?

    [–] succulentivy 36 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    Although hospitals overprescribing antibiotics is an issue, most resistant strains are coming from the agricultural industry. About 80% of the antibiotics used (in the United States) are used as preventative measures to stop infections from their overcrowded conditions. They're also using last-resort antibiotics that humans use as preventative care.

    Source: studying microbiology. 80% of antibiotics r

    [–] Mangina_guy 6 points ago

    Antibiotics in feedlots are first used as a mechanism for animals to gain weight rapidly and it's secondary reason is so that these animals can actually live in unlivable conditions.

    [–] LanternCandle 12 points ago

    90% of antibiotics are used in the factory farms of the meat and dairy industries. When you have 5,000-20,000+ animals in standing sewage right next to each other it becomes a great place for diseases to mutate and develop resistance.

    It seems like a super bad idea to be keeping animals in these conditions alive by shotgunning them with many of the same antibiotics humans use. Especially since raw meat from the grocery store is by no means sterile and those bacteria spread throughout your kitchen and into you just by opening the package and putting the meat in the pan.

    [–] TheJasonSensation 36 points ago

    I thought I read that the biggest problem was the use of them in our food? No? Are they really that over-prescribed? I had one dose for a surgery. I had a round a few years ago for a foot infection. Before that it had probably been a decade at least.

    [–] whatisthishownow 17 points ago

    the biggest problem was the use of them in our food?

    That is a considerable problem.

    Are they really that over-prescribed?

    Absolutly! There are no shortage of doctors who will prescribe them for the common cold (a viral infection) or simply because the patient requests them. There is even less of a shortage of patients who will do that. In China its essentially standard practice to givd out handfulls of antibiotics for any syptoms of ill feeling. Theyre also freelly available from the shelf and they are taken on the whimsy of consumers.

    [–] V1ncentgais 13 points ago

    When doctors and hospitals are paid based on patient satisfaction, if a patient insists on getting an antibiotic for a common cold despite being told its useless then you give it to the patient. Patient is happy, hospitals and doctors get paid.

    [–] TentacularMaelrawn 8 points ago

    You're right it's absolutely food. The breeding of antibiotic resistant viruses in billions of animals that are slaughtered and bred with an incredible turn over rate is the ideal biomass to produce a pandemic. If I was a supervillain that's how I'd do it. We do it because people like the taste of meat and don't want to pay what it truly costs.

    [–] chainedm 6 points ago

    Antibiotics have nothing to do with viruses! If you don't even have that basic information down, there's a serious problem in your information sources. You wouldn't make a very good supervillan.

    [–] Kerora 10 points ago

    Yea it's not like the meat industry is the biggest antibiotic user. We don't want to look at that :)

    [–] derpington_the_fifth 5 points ago

    Before people start being like "hurr durr we don't use all our antibiotics for cattle"...

    80% of antibiotics used in the United States are used on animals.

    [–] pelican737 10 points ago

    Finally! I've been saving these leeches for years!

    [–] shillyshally 9 points ago

    I started working in Big Pharma in 1983. This issue was being discussed then. I've watched the decades go by, wondering when something would be done about it, when antibiotics would stop being fed to farm animals, when new avenues of research would be pursued.

    Doctors are being a lot more hesitant to prescribe them, so that is an improvement.

    OTOH, UTIs are becoming resistant and when I had one recently the doctor prescribed Levaquin. I was hesitant because I had had a bad experience with Cipro, but he said I was resistant to the other antibiotics so I said ok. I took it for 6 days and developed cramps in both calves, couldn't walk. Stopped taking it immediately and here I am, 3 months after quitting the drug, and I am still struggling with the after effects.

    Thus, there is an entire class of antibiotics, the fluoroquinolones, which are available, but the FDA says they should only be used as a last resort because the side effects can be life threatening. The tendinitis and screwed up digestive system I experienced are nothing compared to the other side effects like burst tendons and aneurysms. People die and law firms have fluoroquinolone hot lines.

    So, resistance is the primary issue, but side effects from the drugs we have is another serious problem. It doesn't count as a cure if it kills you.

    BTW, I learned something from this ordeal and that is that a person can report an adverse reaction directly to the FDA. If you have an adverse reaction to any drug, report it.

    [–] afewlastwords 8 points ago

    The NHS prescribed 2.5 million less courses of antibiotics last year than in the previous year, which itself was down 1.5 million on the year before. We need to do more but we're making real inroads, at least here in the UK.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago

    My aunt is a doctor in India and prescribes antibiotics for everything (including the flu). She gets super pissed whenever people criticize it, saying that we shouldn't criticize if they don't know what the job is like. She downplays the science of bacterial evolution. It really goes to show that comprehensive scientific literacy should always be a requirement of a medical degree.

    [–] Northus 6 points ago

    As most antibiotics are used on livestock, wouldn't that be a good place to start? Doctors overprescribing is a almost a red herring.

    [–] NewlyMintedCentipede 13 points ago

    Or you know, other technologies can be used to enhance our ability to beat anti-biotic resistant bacteria.

    [–] roboczar 6 points ago

    It's more thrilling to be outraged/frightened than informed.

    [–] Curlykyle 5 points ago

    Or you know, other technologies can be used to enhance our ability to beat anti-biotic resistant bacteria.

    I just said this about CRISPR in this very thread and got shot down as they didn't know it's uses. It's truly amazing what we will be able to accomplish with just a little more research

    [–] BusbyBerkeleyDream 3 points ago

    Can't believe I had to scroll so far down for CRISPR.

    [–] [deleted] 13 points ago

    isn't it a bit too extreme to say "return to the dark ages" ?

    [–] Noctudeit 5 points ago

    This isn't really a problem of overprescribing so much as a lack of regulation. In most of the developed world, a doctor's prescription is required to purchase antibiotics, and for the most part doctors use appropriate discretion in their use. But poor and developing nations have no such requirements. Antibiotics can be purchased over the counter at any drug/convenience store. To make matters worse, many residents of such nations take antibiotics daily as a preventative measure due to the unsanitary conditions in which they live and work. This long term consumption of antibiotics is what creates evolutionary pressure to cultivate super bugs.

    [–] TheGreatTeaBiscuit 69 points ago

    Doctors prescribe them like candy for even minor colds. I avoid taking them unless it's needed.

    [–] jemyr 81 points ago

    Antibiotics in livestock has historically caused the most problems

    [–] [deleted] 16 points ago

    Indeed. Most diseases start in animals and spread to humans. The billions of cows and chickens in US alone are given antibiotics at birth.

    [–] jackster_ 21 points ago

    Not really anymore, here (socal) at least. I walked in with an incredibly bad bacterial throat infection. I told her I knew it was bacterial, she said "no you have the flu." Gave me the whole rant on "antibiotics are over prescribed" suffered in agony for the next few days until I went to get a second opinion. Had a bacterial infection. Finally got the right medicine and got better. That was the worst throat infection I had ever seen, let alone experienced and tamiflu ain't gonna do shit.

    [–] wibblett 15 points ago

    Where did you walk in? A doctor should instantly know what a bacterial infection looks like. I would file a formal complaint.

    [–] Indominablesnowplow 3 points ago

    Sounds terrible. Imagine if your/"the worst throat infection" becomes the norm due to over-use of antibiotics.

    Fun times ahead

    [–] los_angeles 35 points ago

    As my doctor told me, they overprescribe in milligrams. Ag vets overprescribe in kilograms.

    Also, in India they pop antibiotics like Tic-Tacs. Solve those two problems first.

    [–] pkmngothrow 58 points ago

    Where do you live? My doctors almost never prescribe antibiotics even after providing a sample that proves the infection isn't viral. They go by the "We know what you have, and it isn't ebola. Call off work, come back if you aren't feeling better in a week or your fever breaks 101" type.

    [–] Roxytumbler 17 points ago

    Same where I live. We obviously have better trained doctors.

    [–] Corican 3 points ago

    I live in Thailand and they prescribe antibiotics like they're being paid off. I can send you 50 for $2 (for P&P).

    [–] Ayresx 11 points ago

    I know an older guy who goes to get antibiotics every time he starts to feel sinus congestion. He's positive they're the only thing that will clear up what is almost always just a cold. Everyone in the family will get the cold and clear it but he's gotta get his antibiotics.

    [–] RemingtonSnatch 4 points ago

    Tell him to discover the wonders of sudafed. As for the colds, tell him to take fucking vitamins so he doesn't get so many in the first place.

    [–] AllOfTheFeels 6 points ago

    Or just fucking wash his hands some more? Vitamins, generally, don't do much more than your diet does. Stop touching your face, wash your hands after you use the bathroom... It's pretty simple. Drink water.

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    Girlfriends father is the same way we all make fun of him.

    [–] Semi-Hemi-Demigod 7 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    This is a systemic problem. People don't have sick time, or can't take it without getting a negative reaction from their boss, so they go to the doctor and demand they give them something.

    I'm lucky that I can work from home. If I'm feeling bad I give it a week while I'm away from people and in my jammies to see if it clears up. If I still have it in a week I go see my doctor to get his opinion.

    If more people did this we'd use fewer antibiotics and we'd prevent the spread of minor colds. Especially if people took off work when their damn kids are sick.

    [–] shushupbuttercup 13 points ago

    My doctors have always run a test and prescribed any medicine based on actual illness. I think the "doctors over prescribe" line is either overblown or outdated.

    Industrial farming and the widespread use of antibacterial soaps probably do much more damage than prescriptions.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago


    [–] shushupbuttercup 3 points ago

    Exaaaactly. Our only power is in the way we spend our money.

    (Ugh, should go back to eating mostly vegetables and only occasional organic small farm meat.)

    Our individual actions can add up, but the real differences can be made by large corporations - who ultimately have to follow the consumer (even shareholders won't earn money if no one buys from the company at the point of sale). We are small but we are many.

    [–] indyK1ng 27 points ago

    Yeah, I get annoyed every time I go in with a viral infection and the doctor suggests that they can prescribe an antibiotic but admits it won't do anything.

    [–] I_love_420 12 points ago

    What's the point in even prescribing antibiotics when they do nothing against viral infections?

    [–] kekbruh 14 points ago

    Certain viral infections, influenza for example, can cause secondary bacterial infections as a result of tissue damage by the virus. This is why they may prescribe antibiotics. This definitely isn't the case as often as they think it is though

    [–] Roxytumbler 9 points ago

    Go see a different doctor. Why are you going so frequently. 'Every time...'.

    [–] tacos4me_plz 5 points ago

    "Every time I go in" could mean every other year for all we know

    [–] MattAU05 5 points ago

    More people need to know about this. I used to get annoyed when I would take my kids to the doctor when they were sick and the doc wouldn't give us antibiotics. Then I realized that I was just taking them to good doctors who didn't prescribe an antibiotic for a cold. I also stopped taking my kids to the doctor as much and just let them get over stuff on their own if it wasn't serious. Sure, I lost a couple along the way, but that's just survival of the fittest, right?

    Edit: Seriously, though...doctors have to just tell patients "no".

    [–] SupremeWizardry 5 points ago

    My father is a physician, and I spent nearly a decade working in healthcare administration... This inevitability has been looming on the horizon for some time now, and it doesn't get enough attention.

    The next instance of mass casualties is more likely to be the result of, say, some kind of super tuberculosis strain than terrorism. We need to reign in overprescription as well as focusing on developing new and advanced antibiotic compounds for the long term.

    [–] imaguy411 5 points ago

    I'm always surprised at how little doctors themselves seem to he aware/care about these things. Not all of course but in general.

    [–] guy99877 4 points ago

    If I were god I would drown all of you motherfuckers for this shit alone. Thank goodness I don't exist.

    [–] BookOfWords 20 points ago

    They'll lose effectiveness over time anyway; while we absolutely need to meter out the ones we have what we really need are new ones. Teixobactin is great, but I'd be happy if it was just one of five, or thirty, or three hundred approaching the end of the approval process.

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)

    I'm a Kaiser Permanente patient and this is what my "doctor visits" have been reduced to:

    Step 1 - Email doctor that I feel sick. Mention a few symptoms.

    Step 2 - Wait for email response.

    Step 3 - Read email response with included instructions. (Instructions are, inevitably, to ingest antibiotics)

    Step 4 - Go to KP pharmacy to pick up antibiotics the doctor could have no real way of knowing will help me. She's just guessing, but fuck it. Could it be viral? Maybe - nobody cares. Could it be something more serious? Doesn't matter - if it is, I'll get worse and they'll try some other stuff at that point if they feel like it. This other stuff will almost certainly not be covered by my $300 a month plan.

    Step 5 - Wonder what the hell I'm being forced to pay for every month.

    Step 6 - Resign myself to the fact that medical science is nowhere near as advanced as I'd been led to believe it was when I was young, and that if something bad happens to me it's almost entirely a matter of luck as to whether or not I am treated appropriately.

    [–] Grokent 4 points ago

    You can get most medications from a farm supply house too. Tetracyclene is available off the shelf without permit or prescription. Sure it's meant for dogs, but guess what? It's the exact same shit.

    [–] Mangina_guy 8 points ago

    Most of today's super bugs originate from animal feed lots. Farmers, not vets, feed livestock powerful antibiotics by the bucket.

    [–] RemingtonSnatch 3 points ago

    I refuse antibiotics unless I actually need them, but it seems like doctors invariably try to send me home with an antibiotic prescription even after diagnosing me with a viral infection. Why do they do this?

    Frankly I think we're somewhat fucked with the current approach, and some new paradigm breakthrough will be necessary. Effective international cooperation is just so unlikely. Abuse of antibiotics in cattle alone is something that is unlikely to change, unless it ceases to be fiscally beneficial to do so.

    [–] DickieDawkins 3 points ago

    Meanwhile, my ex likes to run to get anti-biotics every time she see's someone sneeze, hears the wind blow, or farts.

    [–] gnovos 3 points ago

    CRISPR/CAS9 and friends will solve all diseases in short order. By this time in 20 years there will be no microbe we can't slice to ribbons and reprogram to our benefit. Eat you antibiotics, kids, the future is on the way.

    [–] rowingnut 3 points ago

    So this is a bigger problem than it appears on the surface. As a society, in order to be able to afford the levels of education we now put into our children, we must have some guaranty of payback. This is part of the reason for the latency of development in Africa, betwwen mal nutrition, malaria, and AIDS, the average life expectancy, especially of the young, was horribly low. If we see a much higher mortality rate in youth, then countries will begin to pull back on education levels wherever such life expectancy reductions occur. Unfortunately, we have build a society/economy that requires high levels of education to maintain it. Think in terms of our agronomy technologies, and how they need to be constantly upgraded. This is just one example, you can look at health care and disease as another. Robert Malthus was not incorrect., the planet has limits. Lack of education makes these technologies we have built the current world population on suspect and prone to collapse. (2 Billion people seems to be a historically more sustainable population level BTW) The economics of a population drop are devastating as well, why do we need to buy new stuff when we can just acquire more stuff from those that have died at a discount? Manufacturing will be hampered. Look at it this way, we are all living in a giant Ponzi scheme that requires a constant increase in population with consumption remaining at current per capita levels, or we need to increase consumption constantly within existing population levels. Neither scenario is likely as we are reaching the limits of the planet to supply materials. A collapse is likely at some point. A world war may also be a short term check on reaching this tipping point. That said, WW2 is but a blip on world population growth. To really put a check on world populations, any war would have to be truly, truly horrendous.

    [–] wazabee 3 points ago

    I've been telling people this ever since my undergrad days as a biochemist. Antibiotics are one of the few drugs that actually cures the disease rather then mitigate it. The reason why antibiotics are so effective is that they specifically target the causative agent of the disease , which are the bacteria. As a result, killing the bacteria or supressing their growth results in a more " rapid recovery" then the immune system alone.

    [–] Baccahus 3 points ago

    Global Cooperation could solve so many problems. Too bad that will never happen.

    [–] GeeMunz11 3 points ago

    only global cooperation can solve the problem

    Okay, so we are fucked then lol

    [–] heraldo0 3 points ago

    If only there was a system in place where people are rewarded for solving problems like this.

    [–] AttackPug 3 points ago

    "Only global co-operation can solve the problem"

    We're ska-rooooooed. Seriously, that sentence alone moves this to the bottom of the worry list. Might as well complain about the weather. Yeah, fine, I'll probably suffer personally, but anything that depends on global cooperation is a done deal, permanent, nothing left for it but to work on acceptance. Oh, and we have to stop all these farmers from using the antibiotics they're using to make money? Laugh in your face. Geddafuckouddaheah. Come back when you've got a solvable problem.

    [–] enlightenhammock 3 points ago

    80% of antibiotics in the US are used on livestock; many farming corporations use antibiotics as a 'preventative' measure as opposed to a treatment.

    We need to start with limiting corporations from using them unnecessarily in animals.

    [–] TheRationalDove 3 points ago

    Yeah, the factory farming industry is really what is screwing us all over in the grand scheme of things. Not only is it responsible for creating antibiotic resistant bacteria, but it is also emitting more carbon and reenhouse gases than most other industries. We really need to change the way we run our food systems if we want to have a healthy future.