We’ve all heard about superbugs, bacterial infections that don’t respond to antibiotic treatment and wondered what’s going on.
When someone falls ill with one of these infections doctors determine which antibiotic to use based on a standard test. But UC Santa Barbara biologist Michael Moore says we may be relying on the wrong test when identifying the antibiotic to treat an infected patient.
The current test was developed in 1961 and is used throughout the world but it’s based on how well drugs kill bacteria on petri plates — not how well they kill bacteria in the body. Moore’s lab has developed a new test that mimics conditions in the body, potentially transforming the way antibiotics are developed, tested and prescribed.
His lab has identified antibiotics that effectively treat infections caused by diverse bacteria, including MRSA, the cause of deadly Staphylococcal infections. These antibiotics are often not prescribed because they failed the standard tests, despite being inexpensive, nontoxic, widely available and often effective.
He is working to modify the existing test so that it can be widely adapted to give doctors better tools and information when battling superbugs.
Drugs that pass the standard test often fail to treat bacterial infections, whereas drugs identified by Moore’s test have been effective.
Learn more and watch Why Antibiotics Fail – People Are Not Petri Plates
For more talks in this series, click here.
If some medical care is good, more must be better. Right?
Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In fact, the opposite can be true—some measures of health are worse in areas where people receive more health services.
Join leaders in research and health policy at UCSF who highlight situations in which the overuse of medical care may result in harm and in which less care is likely to result in better health. It’s time to challenge the implicit belief, on the part of both clinicians and patients, that more is better.
See what you should know about risks and benefits of cancer screening, “routine” examinations, alternative medicine, drug prescriptions, cardiac testing and end-of-life care.
Bottom line for consumers – choose wisely, change the question from Why don’t you do that test? to Why did you do that test?, and challenge the belief that more is better.
Check out all the latest programs in High Value Medical Care: Why Sometimes Less is More:
High Value Medical Care: Why Sometimes Less is More
We Don’t Always Get High Value Medical Care: Examples from Cataract Surgery and Telemedicine
Cardiac Screening – Why Sometimes Less is More
Too Many Tests and Treatments: Why More is Not Always Better For Seniors
Radiation Safety and Medical Imaging
Antibiotics – When Less is More
Vitamins and Supplements: Less is More
Cancer Screening: When Less is More
Periodic Health Examination – Why Sometimes Less is More
Have you always dreamed about being a doctor? Maybe you find the way the body works really fascinating or you feel compelled to help others.
Well, we’ve got a series for you! Foundations for Future Health Care Providers gives you a sneak peek at your first year at medical school with these videos from faculty at UCSF.
Medical school can be tough, but you can get ahead of the curve with these programs designed to teach you the fundamental concepts of medicine including the basics of anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
In “Pharmacology: Bugs and Drugs, Part 1,” Marieke Kruidering Hall, Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF, talks about the diminished effectiveness of antibiotics as infectious bacteria become increasingly resistant to them.
One cause may be that people don’t always finish all of the prescribed drug — they feel better and don’t think they need to keep taking the antibiotic. Although the symptoms of the infection are gone, some bacteria remain and by not completing that antibiotic, people allow those remaining bacteria to survive. Those remaining bacteria multiply, thereby creating a strain of bacteria that is able to survive the treatment of antibiotics.
See what else Kruidering Hall has to say about the way antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal drugs work differently within the body, in “Pharmacology: Bugs and Drugs, Part 1.”
Explore other videos in the Foundations for Future Health Care Providers series!