(From the Canadian Medical Association Journal)
Conversation about antibiotic resistance has been sparked again following a call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for new drugs to treat strains of gonorrhea resistant to available antibiotics.
An estimated 700 000 people die annually from infection with drug-resistant microbes, a figure that is projected to increase to about 10 million by 2050. Last year the United Nations declared antimicrobial resistance to be one of the biggest threats to global health. While there’s no disagreement that action must be taken to combat the evolving drug-resistance crisis, just how to proceed remains a matter of debate. For some, the logical step forward is to develop new antibiotics. Earlier this year, a team of researchers at the University of Manitoba discovered a drug that could be used to treat many infectious organisms, including gonorrhea. The drug targets a sodium pump that functions in certain metabolic processes in pathogenic bacteria.