ABC News reported yesterday how drug resistant "Superbugs" are an urgent threat to public safety because no known antibiotic can effectively treat them. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported on the death of a 70 year old woman a few months ago, who went into septic shock and died while under the care of doctors at a hospital. She was diagnosed with a class of drug resistant bugs called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteiaceae "CRE". The CDC has described CRE infections as an urgent threat which cause 9000 drug resistant infections and 600 deaths per year. Some but not all CRE infections can be successfully treated. Those most at risk are the elderly, those who are medically debilitated and the very young.
ABC New reported that: "No matter how effective an antibiotic is at killing bacteria, new drugs will be needed as the bacteria mutate and grow more resistant to existing drugs". According to the CDC website: "Antibiotic resistance occurs as part of a natural evolution process. It can be significantly slowed but not stopped." Unfortunately, the number of approved FDA applications for novel antibiotics has dramatically dropped. According to the CDC, there were fewer than 5 novel antibiotics approved by the FDA between 2005 and 2009.