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? About Drug Resistant Viruses


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#1    Clyde the Glyde

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:11 PM

You folks are alot smarter than I am, so maybe you can answer this question for me about the stories in the news about all of these drug resistant viruses.

I myself try hard to not take drugs or antibiotics to fight off minor illness, colds, and flus. ( Like many people do ) I try and let my own natural defenses fight them off. I feel that constantly taking antibiotics for every little thing weakens your own immune system.

So, Is this true ?  And do I have a stronger chance of fighting off these antibiotic / drug resistant viruses than someone who takes alot of antibiotics ?

Or am I just as vulnerable ?


Just wondering


#2    Still Waters

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

View PostClyde the Glyde, on 06 April 2012 - 07:11 PM, said:

I feel that constantly taking antibiotics for every little thing weakens your own immune system.
That's what I've heard too, and I've been told it's best not to take antibiotics unless you really have to. Your body gets too used to them otherwise.

Antibiotics don't kill a virus, they're normally given to combat a secondary infection which might arise from whatever is wrong with you. That's why they're not given out for the common cold, but are if you have a chest infection as well.

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#3    arenee

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:34 PM

Antibiotics should never be prescribed for a viral infection.  Antibiotics should only be prescribed for a bacterial infection.  They are useless against viruses. Viruses are not even considered to be living things as bacteria are.  They do have antiviral drugs but they are not for the common flu or cold as I understand.  Antibiotics are becoming less effective because of their overuse.  They are being prescribed when they are not necessary for the ailment, such as a cold or flu.  Both of which are caused by viruses.  Bacteria, because they are living things, have evolved to resist many of the antibiotics used to treat them.  This is why we should not continue to use them when they are not needed.

As far as I can tell though, to answer your question, I think you are probably just as vulnerable as the rest of us.

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#4    and then

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:41 PM

Even if you had never taken an antibiotic if you become infected with bacteria that have evolved to immunity from such drugs you will suffer just like someone who uses antibiotics for every little ailment.  The problem with the antibiotics is that people are lax in how they take them.  If the entire regimen isn't completed to kill the bacteria then the little bugger survives and becomes more resistant to the drug.

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#5    arenee

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:48 PM

View Postand then, on 06 April 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

Even if you had never taken an antibiotic if you become infected with bacteria that have evolved to immunity from such drugs you will suffer just like someone who uses antibiotics for every little ailment.  The problem with the antibiotics is that people are lax in how they take them.  If the entire regimen isn't completed to kill the bacteria then the little bugger survives and becomes more resistant to the drug.
:tu:

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#6    RightInTheStatisticals

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:49 PM

View Postand then, on 06 April 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

Even if you had never taken an antibiotic if you become infected with bacteria that have evolved to immunity from such drugs you will suffer just like someone who uses antibiotics for every little ailment.  The problem with the antibiotics is that people are lax in how they take them.  If the entire regimen isn't completed to kill the bacteria then the little bugger survives and becomes more resistant to the drug.
^^^^ This. Bears repeating. If your doctor gives you ten days worth of anti-biotics, take every last one of 'em.


#7    Clyde the Glyde

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:49 PM

View Postand then, on 06 April 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

Even if you had never taken an antibiotic if you become infected with bacteria that have evolved to immunity from such drugs you will suffer just like someone who uses antibiotics for every little ailment.  The problem with the antibiotics is that people are lax in how they take them.  If the entire regimen isn't completed to kill the bacteria then the little bugger survives and becomes more resistant to the drug.

Well Crap !!  That's what I was afraid that I would find out.


#8    arenee

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

View PostClyde the Glyde, on 06 April 2012 - 07:49 PM, said:

Well Crap !!  That's what I was afraid that I would find out.
Kinda makes you sad huh? :cry:

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#9    QuiteContrary

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

I read that the human race is heading back in time. To a time before antibiotics. As they become ineffective, our world will in the future be like it was when there were no antibiotics. I have yet to meet a doc that won't send my family members out of his office without a prescription for something. And I've lived in over 7 states. Scary. It is up to you to just say "No" sometimes.
Also, all the antimicrobial additives to products isn't helping either.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 06 April 2012 - 07:59 PM.

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#10    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM

There are drugs for viruses.Most are completely ineffective.
The reasons given are,THE VIRUS IS RESISTING THE DRUG!
Thats crap.Tamiflu has been repeatedly shown to be completely ineffective against viruses,and has major side affects.
A bunch of kids in Japan committed suicide while on a bad batch of Tamiflu.

As for bacterial infection,drugs we have ,once given to us,make it so if we have a repeat of the same strain of bug,the more we take the antibiotic,the more resistant it becomes.This premise comes from who ?
Doctors ? Drug companies ?
Where is the proof of this ?

Given these germs mutate all the time,and there are numerous strains.Chances of getting exactly the same bug,every time,is not impossible,but unlikely.

I have very weak lungs,and I get upper respiratory infections frequently.
I've taken the same antibiotics for 20 years.They still work on me.

I think some of this is hype,to scare the public into taking new drugs.
I could be wrong.

Drug resistant TB might be the only one of these issues,that has serious implications.
MRSA,can also be a concern,as people who get it,are usually immuno compromised to begin with,so the drugs seem to not work,but the persons constitution is just shot.

I can tell you a couple natural and homeopathic remedies,that I take myself,that help a lot.
I only take an antibiotic ,if nothing else will work,which is actually rare for me.

I needed a course of zithromax in 2009,but I had pneumonia.
I've taken zithromax many times before.It worked.I was taking the alternative stuff at the same time though.They definitely help.

Edited by Simbi Laveau, 06 April 2012 - 08:37 PM.

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#11    FurthurBB

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

View PostClyde the Glyde, on 06 April 2012 - 07:11 PM, said:

You folks are alot smarter than I am, so maybe you can answer this question for me about the stories in the news about all of these drug resistant viruses.

I myself try hard to not take drugs or antibiotics to fight off minor illness, colds, and flus. ( Like many people do ) I try and let my own natural defenses fight them off. I feel that constantly taking antibiotics for every little thing weakens your own immune system.

So, Is this true ?  And do I have a stronger chance of fighting off these antibiotic / drug resistant viruses than someone who takes alot of antibiotics ?

Or am I just as vulnerable ?


Just wondering

Antibiotics are not for viruses.


#12    QuiteContrary

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:46 PM

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

There are drugs for viruses.Most are completely ineffective.
The reasons given are,THE VIRUS IS RESISTING THE DRUG!
Thats crap.Tamiflu has been repeatedly shown to be completely ineffective against viruses,and has major side affects.
A bunch of kids in Japan committed suicide while on a bad batch of Tamiflu.

As for bacterial infection,drugs we have ,once given to us,make it so if we have a repeat of the same strain of bug,the more we take the antibiotic,the more resistant it becomes.This premise comes from who ?
Doctors ? Drug companies ?
Where is the proof of this ?

Given these germs mutate all the time,and there are numerous strains.Chances of getting exactly the same bug,every time,is not impossible,but unlikely.

I have very weak lungs,and I get upper respiratory infections frequently.
I've taken the same antibiotics for 20 years.They still work on me.

I think some of this is hype,to scare the public into taking new drugs.
I could be wrong.

Drug resistant TB might be the only one of these issues,that has serious implications.
MRSA,can also be a concern,as people who get it,are usually immuno compromised to begin with,so the drugs seem to not work,but the persons constitution is just shot.

I can tell you a couple natural and homeopathic remedies,that I take myself,that help a lot.
I only take an antibiotic ,if nothing else will work,which is actually rare for me.

I needed a course of zithromax in 2009,but I had pneumonia.
I've taken zithromax many times before.It worked.I was taking the alternative stuff at the same time though.They definitely help.

--Can you explain in more detail why you think drug resistant bacteria is a load of hype or propaganda?
--Antibiotics still work for many people. Why does that negate the argument?
--Where do you trust your info on drug resistance to come from? What about university studies?
--Do Drug companies have new drugs lined up to fight this, whether real or hype? I would think that would be costly for them.
--Why would bacteria not develop resistance? Where is the proof they don't?
--I think western med has a lot of problems and drug companies are all about the dollar, but I don't see a universal conspiracy here.
--Can you help me see your side with some more info?
I am interested.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 06 April 2012 - 09:48 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#13    questionmark

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:30 PM

View PostClyde the Glyde, on 06 April 2012 - 07:11 PM, said:

You folks are alot smarter than I am, so maybe you can answer this question for me about the stories in the news about all of these drug resistant viruses.

I myself try hard to not take drugs or antibiotics to fight off minor illness, colds, and flus. ( Like many people do ) I try and let my own natural defenses fight them off. I feel that constantly taking antibiotics for every little thing weakens your own immune system.

So, Is this true ?  And do I have a stronger chance of fighting off these antibiotic / drug resistant viruses than someone who takes alot of antibiotics ?

Or am I just as vulnerable ?


Just wondering

Lots of things mixed in there, but lets get down to it:

Drug resistance is something that is developed over a shorter or longer period of time by all organisms. Mostly it is caused by those individuals that survive an inadequate antibiotics attack. You can compare it to the 17th century arsenic resistance developed by people at risk of being poisoned. By ingesting first small quantities they became immune to the poison.

The point with bacteria is that they procreate much faster than humans and therefore are much more likely to pass on that quality to their offspring.

There is nothing wrong with taking antibiotics as long as you take them long enough to effectively kill the bug. Should a few survive the chances of killing them with an anti-biotic the next time will be smaller, that strain will be harder to kill with the same drug during the next infection and so on.

So, it has nothing to do with you taking anything, it has more something to do with the guy who bred them not taking enough of whatever, where it does not necessary have to be a human. Chicken and pig feeding lots with uncontrolled antibiotic feeding are prime breeding grounds for resistant strains. Same goes for hospitals.

So, taking it all in all, you as individual have very little control on the evolution of bacteria. All you can do is, in case of infection, take the medicines as ordered by a physician (hoping that he knows what he is talking about) and avoid self medication unless trained as doctor.

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#14    Copasetic

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:12 AM

View PostClyde the Glyde, on 06 April 2012 - 07:11 PM, said:

You folks are alot smarter than I am, so maybe you can answer this question for me about the stories in the news about all of these drug resistant viruses.

I myself try hard to not take drugs or antibiotics to fight off minor illness, colds, and flus. ( Like many people do ) I try and let my own natural defenses fight them off. I feel that constantly taking antibiotics for every little thing weakens your own immune system.

So, Is this true ?  And do I have a stronger chance of fighting off these antibiotic / drug resistant viruses than someone who takes alot of antibiotics ?

Or am I just as vulnerable ?


Just wondering

As others have iterated you don't take antibiotics for viral infections. Despite that there are anti-viral drugs, which can be very effective (despite the uneducated claims of Simbi)--For instance protease inhibitors used for HIV infections, chain terminators used for hepatic viral infections and HIV, neuraminidase and M2 inhibitors used for influenza, etc

In regard to your question; no it won't make a difference. Antibiotics work by different mechanisms than how your body kills bacteria. Your body fights bacteria in really 2 ways. Phagocytosis (it eats it) then the bacteria is killed in phagolysosomes via respiratory bursts or (such as the case with encapsulated organisms) the bacteria are first opsonized with antibodies (IgM early on in an infection followed by IgG in secondary immune responses), which ultimately lets the bacteria be phagozytized. The second main way we kill bacteria is through compliment, which is fixed to a bacterial membrane by antibodies (IgG and IgM again), which allows a special complex (called a membrane attack complex or MAC) to affix to the bacteria and "punch holes" in it.

Since neither of those ways are the same, mechanistically, as how antibiotics work then a bacteria being resistant or not to the antibiotic doesn't affect infection rates in you. You are, unfortunately, just as susceptible as someone who regularly takes antibiotics--Baring of course they are immunosuppressed or immunocompromised.

Antibiotics work in 2 very general classes; those which affect the cell wall and those which affect protein/RNA/DNA synthesis. Many older antibiotics, such as those affecting the cell wall, are what you see lots of resistance too--This includes things like the penicillins. Bacteria get resistance too drugs by a couple different mechanisms--Either they produce an enzyme which alters the antibiotic (such as beta-lactamase acting on beta-lactams, including penicillin), decrease the amount present in the cell through decreased permeability to the drug or increased efflux, or alter the binding site on the target molecule. The latter two mostly applying to those antibiotics that affect protein/RNA/DNA synthesis.

Edited by Copasetic, 07 April 2012 - 01:09 AM.


#15    Copasetic

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:08 AM

Simbi, I know others have pointed it out to you on other topics (your lack of medical knowledge), but let me put a name to it for you;Dunning and Kruger effect

You should refrain from giving medical advice because;
1. It is against the forum rules
2. It is unethical to give a patient medical advice when you have no access to the patient or are unable to do an exam
3. You are unqualified to do so--And no being and EMT or "certified" in "eastern and alternative medicine" doesn't qualify you.

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

There are drugs for viruses.Most are completely ineffective.
The reasons given are,THE VIRUS IS RESISTING THE DRUG!
Thats crap.Tamiflu has been repeatedly shown to be completely ineffective against viruses,and has major side affects.
A bunch of kids in Japan committed suicide while on a bad batch of Tamiflu.

This is simply incorrect. As I pointed out above, there are many antivirals which are very effective. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and other neuraminidase inhibitors work well (such as zanamivir). Of course there are resistance problems because as other have pointed out--Things evolve (even non-living things such as viruses, not a prerequisite for natural selection isn't human's definition of 'life'). Influenza, specifically influenza A, evolves rapidly because of its segmented genome and its ability to infect multiple species (pigs, birds, humans) which gives it the opportunity for antigenic shift (antigenic drift on the other hand creates smaller variation responsible for the yearly differences).

The problem with the NI's though isn't so much with resistance, its with the time table you have to work with. For NIs to work you really need to have the patient start them within 2 days of becoming symptomatic--The problem then is people often are outside of the treatment window for efficacious use. If given in the appropriate time table however, they are very efficacious at reducing severity and duration of influenza infection. Zanamivir has few, if any side effects--In head to head with placebo, the "side effects" were no different than placebo. Oseltamivir also has mild side effects (some nausea and diarrhea) which were reported slightly higher than placebo, more serious adverse effects are quite rare.

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

As for bacterial infection,drugs we have ,once given to us,make it so if we have a repeat of the same strain of bug,the more we take the antibiotic,the more resistant it becomes.This premise comes from who ?
Doctors ? Drug companies ?
Where is the proof of this ?

It comes from life--Its how evolution works, but I suspect after "2 years as a pre-pharm major", that (evolution) probably isn't one of your strong points either. Like others have pointed on the topic, the real problem is when people fail to take a full course of antibiotics; which leads to an insufficiently lethal concentration and exposure to the drug. Enter evolution; organisms which die first are those most susceptible to the drug. Those which survive because non-lethal concentrations then go on to reproduce--Some of their offspring will be tougher and more resistant to the drug than the parent. Rinse and repeat till you get bugs which are MDR.

Its important to also note though, that not all drugs are bactericidal and some are bacteriostatic; searchable terms if you aren't sure of their meaning.

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

Given these germs mutate all the time,and there are numerous strains.Chances of getting exactly the same bug,every time,is not impossible,but unlikely.

In deed, but immunity works because even though the bugs mutate they retain enough characteristics that the memory leg of you immune system can make antibodies with antigen binding sites sufficient enough to still bind to surface antigens. Further, every time your humoral immune system is activated B cells go through affinity maturation (basically evolution for antigenic binding affinity--again a searchable term if you want to know more).

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

I have very weak lungs,and I get upper respiratory infections frequently.
I've taken the same antibiotics for 20 years.They still work on me.

I think some of this is hype,to scare the public into taking new drugs.
I could be wrong.

I needed a course of zithromax in 2009,but I had pneumonia.
I've taken zithromax many times before.It worked.

I don't how your "lungs are weak", but if you suffer from frequent respiratory infections and pneumonia the culprit is probably Streptococcus pneumoniae (you should speak to your GP about that though--It could be an non-lung related problem since S. pneumo is encapsulated you could actually have a problem with antibody production for opsonization or spleen problems). S. pneumo has a very low incidence of resistance to azithromycin and respiratory fluoroquinolones (such as moxifloxacin or levofloxacin)--0.9% for the respiratory fluoroquinolones the last time a large clinical isolate survey was done if memory serves correct.

The reason is because different bacteria are....different. Not all bacteria can develop resistance to certain drugs, it depends on the drug (how it works, etc) and the biochemical and molecular properties of the bacteria. For example, we've been using penicillins (Pen V) to treat Streptococcus pyogenes and agalactiae effectively since their implementation in the 30's. Whereas bugs which produce beta-lactamases were quickly resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics (such as many gram negative rods and the Staphylococci)

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

Drug resistant TB might be the only one of these issues,that has serious implications.

Yes, MDR TB is a serious concern....

View PostSimbi Laveau, on 06 April 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

MRSA,can also be a concern,as people who get it,are usually immuno compromised to begin with,so the drugs seem to not work,but the persons constitution is just shot.

This is uninformed. MRSA, while certainly it does effect immunocompromised people, certainly affects healthy people as well. In fact, MRSA (CA-MRSA) actually effects healthy people more often than the immunocompromised (its actually the most common community acquired skin/soft-tissue infection in the US).

Also whether someone is immunocompromised or not isn't particularly important for whether a drug will work or not--Unless we are talking about bactericidal vs bacteriostatic (the latter requiring you to have some function of the immune system). Regardless the DOC for MRSA is vancomycin--Which is bactericidal (also newer drugs like oxazolidinones and streptogramins).

Edited by Copasetic, 07 April 2012 - 01:13 AM.





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