Antibiotics, the wonder drug of the 20th century, may become irrelevant in the very near future as so-called superbugs develop immunity to medication, a top medical journal warned Monday.
“The antibiotic soup that now permeates health-care facilities, farms, and our bodies, has exerted a selection pressure on pathogens and commensal organisms alike, and resistance has proliferated and spread such that many bacteria can withstand almost all drugs,” the Lancet said in an editorial. The warning comes at the beginning of Antibiotics Awareness Week.
The Lancet warns that overuse of antibiotics may lead to a superbug epidemic much sooner than is commonly thought.
“A crisis looms,” the editors write. “In the very near and rapidly approaching future, the wonder-drugs of the 20th century, antibiotics, may cease to be useful.”