Super bug danger growing, drugs needed - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Super bug danger growing, drugs needed

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Exactly a year ago, UTHealth infectious disease expert Dr. Louis Ostrosky grabbed and held FOX 26's attention.

"I am very scared because we have this new wave of bugs coming and we have very few antibiotics out there," Ostrosky said.

There is a critical absence of new, potent antibiotics capable of turning back resistant and deadly bacterial infections known as "super bugs."

Each year, thousands more humans here and across the globe succumb to killers like C-DIFF, MRSA and most recently, a new, seemingly unstoppable germ called KPC.  Dr. Cesar Arias, a super bug specialist at the UTHealth Medical School, said the threat is growing with precious little in the antibiotic pipeline with which to counter.

"We are facing cases and we don't have active therapies," Arias said.
Arias said the problem is profit or rather, the lack of it.  Drug makers will not bring resources to bear on medicines that will not offer an extended and substantial boost to their bottom line.

"Producing an antibiotic means for a pharmaceutical company means investing a lot of money for a drug that you only use for a short period of time and we infectious disease people try to restrict it so if you are looking at it from the pharmaceutical point of view, it's not a good investment," he said.

Meanwhile, super bugs are steadily growing more resistant and more menacing.  Despite remediation efforts, Arias believes more than 10 percent of hospital patients will contract a potentially deadly antibiotic resistant infection.

"You go to the hospital and see what we're dealing with, you will be scared," he said.

The doctor's prescription calls for rapid and intense government involvement.

"If you don't have antibiotics, you will have no way to control infection and people will die.  Simple as that."

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