Antbiotics

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Antbiotics

Postby iseeson on May 28th, 2016, 4:16 am 

I was hearing on the news recently about the possibility of supa bugs caused by our over use of antibiotics.
Not that i think it's so unusual. We've had the theory of natural selection for quite a long time now.

Any way. I have a lesion which i was trying to control for about ten years. Thats correct. Ten years. In the first six months, i had a daignosis of staf such as in pimples and given antibiotics. The lesion faded and went away only to return in a matter of months. But not only in the same spot, but other sites as well.

I continued to get treatments from creams and changes in basic personal chemicals for the rest of that time to no avail. The lesions would sometimes fade , but never go away for good.
After a long period , i went back for some more antibiotics , but rather than take them , i applied them under bandaids and treated them the way we did with antibiotic powders in the seventies.
They have been gone for a year now. I am wondering if we are reducing our own capacity to deal with local break outs of bacteria by the shotgun habit of taking antibiotics internally and should return to antibiotic creams and powders where possible.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby Hendrick Laursen on May 28th, 2016, 4:29 am 

Overuse of antibiotics can weaken our immune system. There's a certain mechanism in bacteria called "Bacterial conjugation", which help bacteries pass useful genes between themselves, thus, getting more resistant to immune system, among other ways such as natural resistance or mutation.

Ingesting drugs seems to make generations of resistant bacteria, normally harmless "microbiota" dwellers, but able make severe disease.

Antibiotic resistance increases with duration of treatment; therefore, as long as an effective minimum is kept, shorter courses of antibiotics are likely to decrease rates of resistance, reduce cost, and have better outcomes with fewer complications.

"Duration of antibiotic therapy and resistance". NPS Medicinewise. National Prescribing Service Limited trading, Australia. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby iseeson on May 28th, 2016, 4:38 am 

That is why i felt the stronger dose at the site of infection was so much more effective. It only affected my natural resistence at the local area .
Interestingly, areas which showed mild symptoms , but weren't treated specifically, also cleared up. These were the same antibiotics previously used internally.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby bangstrom on May 28th, 2016, 5:18 am 

iseeson » May 28th, 2016, 3:16 am wrote:
I am wondering if we are reducing our own capacity to deal with local break outs of bacteria by the shotgun habit of taking antibiotics internally and should return to antibiotic creams and powders where possible.

Antibiotic creams and powders may be more effective in some cases and that option is still available but bacteria can also become resistant to topical antibiotics so that wouldn't solve the problem of resistance.

There is a new approach to treating resistant bacteria that has so far worked with MRSA. Instead of trying to kill the bacteria directly, they treat the bacteria with drugs that block the biochemical pathways they use to become resistant. This makes the bacteria susceptible again so any of the old antibiotics that worked in the past should work again.
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And moreover

Postby jocular on May 28th, 2016, 5:48 am 

Antiobiotics as used in cattle are being implicated in global warming:

http://www.thenewsindependent.com/new-s ... ing/13420/

This seems like the height of irresponsibility to me. Am I right?

As far as I know cattle (and farm animals in general) are actually treated preventitively against possible infections -all in the name of higher profit margins,presumably.

They don't even wait for the animals to become sick.....

Happy (and hopeful) to be shown wrong.
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Re: And moreover

Postby BioWizard on June 16th, 2016, 10:11 pm 

jocular » 28 May 2016 04:48 am wrote:This seems like the height of irresponsibility to me. Am I right?

As far as I know cattle (and farm animals in general) are actually treated preventitively against possible infections -all in the name of higher profit margins,presumably.

They don't even wait for the animals to become sick.....

Happy (and hopeful) to be shown wrong.


Unfortunately, I think you are in the right there. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and right now drug discovery seems to be losing the battle. If nothing changes, the outcome can be seriously scary.
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Re: And moreover

Postby zetreque on June 16th, 2016, 10:24 pm 

BioWizard » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:11 pm wrote:
jocular » 28 May 2016 04:48 am wrote:This seems like the height of irresponsibility to me. Am I right?

As far as I know cattle (and farm animals in general) are actually treated preventitively against possible infections -all in the name of higher profit margins,presumably.

They don't even wait for the animals to become sick.....

Happy (and hopeful) to be shown wrong.


Unfortunately, I think you are in the right there. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and right now drug discovery seems to be losing the battle. If nothing changes, the outcome can be seriously scary.


I've often wondered about this. Did we get lucky with the first run of antibiotic drugs and now it's harder to synthesize them to be effective?
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby jocular on June 17th, 2016, 7:42 am 

An ad homines admittedly but how can we inoculate against stupidity (and irresponsibility) ?

This has ,I think been known for donkeys' ages...
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby vivian maxine on June 17th, 2016, 10:18 am 

We are all over-medicated and it isn't just antibiotics. It's the whole pill-popping culture.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby Hendrick Laursen on July 5th, 2016, 6:32 pm 

jocular » June 17th, 2016, 1:42 am wrote:An ad homines admittedly but how can we inoculate against stupidity (and irresponsibility) ?

This has ,I think been known for donkeys' ages...


Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby Biosapien on August 2nd, 2016, 2:03 am 

Hi Hendrick Laursen

“Antibiotic resistance increases with duration of treatment; therefore, as long as an effective minimum is kept, shorter courses of antibiotics are likely to decrease rates of resistance, reduce cost, and have better outcomes with fewer complications”

Considering the above statement may I ask you that, the experiment of trial and error to find the LD or lethal dose to microbes will also make them resistant to the antibiotic?
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby doogles on August 8th, 2016, 6:00 am 

I’m a bit slow taking part in this discussion, because I’ve hesitated about where to start. I’ll start by making a radical statement, aimed at reducing unnecessary guess-work use of antibiotics.

I believe that every medical and veterinary practitioner should have an incubator in their clinic somewhere, a supply of agar plates, antibiotic test strips and sterile swabs. I believe that any time they suspect a bacterial infection of any kind, they should take a swab on the spot, smear it over the blood agar or McConkeys agar plate, apply the appropriate test strips and place it in the incubator. The receptionist could be trained to do this.

If the suspect infection is not acute, no antibiotics need be supplied until the culture has been read at 24 or 48 hours. Then the appropriate antibiotics should be prescribed. If the infection is acute, then antibiotics should be dispensed on a ‘best-guess’ basis, which appears to be the current way of things, and the choice of antibiotics either confirmed or changed on the basis of the results.

I began doing this in a modified way 60 years ago and continued for the 25 years I was in country veterinary practice – long before there were any local referral laboratories.

After those 25 years, I can affirm that in domestic animals at least, therapeutic prescription on the basis of ‘best-guess’ for specific disease conditions is unreliable and seriously wasteful of valuable therapeutic time in some cases.

I found the ’best-guess’ system extremely frustrating and unprofessional during my first few months of practice in 1955. Fortunately I was employed at the time by a large Cheese and Butter factory conglomerate. The cheese manufacturers had a fully-staffed laboratory for quality control and for the essential production of ‘Starter’ bacteria used in the production of all the many varieties of cheeses.

Our most common infections were of the mammary glands of dairy cows (mastitis).

My first plates looked much like the one here.

AGAR PLATE.jpg


Each contained about a 4 mm layer of a gel-like substance called agar made by boiling seaweed in fresh water. We did not have antibiotic test strips until the 1960s, but we did have small tubes of penicillin and/or streptomycin creams plus a couple of other chemical antiseptics (eg versotrane, hibitane) that we could gently squeeze up into the cow’s teats and gently massage upwards. I developed a technique of punching out small plugs of the agar gel with a flame-sterilised metal punch and then, after spreading my sample swab all over the surface, squeezing small amounts of the available creams into each hole.

After incubating overnight, I would mostly find a heavy growth of bacteria. If the ‘colonies’ which grew from the bacteria did not grow within a radius of the test creams, then I knew what to use on the case. Some of these cases of mastitis were very acute and often complicated by septicaemia or toxaemia. If I did not get the treatment correct within 24 hours, I would have lost many cases. Trial and error, in the sense of trying a new therapy each day if the first one did not work, was totally unacceptable to me.

In the 1960s we were able to have all varieties of agar transported to us in dry ice packs and we were able to obtain blotter-like rings containing larger ranges of antibiotics that we just placed on top of our swabbed plates before incubation. We were able to culture from any suspect bacterial infection from any area of any animal. We felt as if we knew what we were doing, rather than making guesses. If we found a heavy growth of one type of uniform colonies over the plate, this had to be the causative bacteria. And if the colonies did not grow near any of our test antibiotics, we knew what to use on the case. Identification of the species of bacteria involved was not of any importance in any shape or form.

Apologies for the length of this, but I felt that my background in this field was necessary in order to give any credence to my next comments.

1. Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria have been around since I first started doing cultures personally 60 years ago. Although it was possible to identify many bacteria by the size, shape, colour and consistency of the colonies (see the dots on the photograph), multiple resistance was not just confined to Staphylococci. We once cultured a Pseudomonas from the ears of a dog that failed to respond to our first batch of test antibiotics. We subcultured the organism onto several more plates and tried another test range of less-common antibiotics as well as every so-called ‘antiseptic we could find (eg iodine, hypochlorite, dettol, phenyl phenol, alcohol, formalin etc). We tested 38 substances and the Pseudomonas grew over the lot.
2. We seldom had outbreaks of these infections. There may be only one cow in a herd for example with severe mastitis, and we could not predict what organism we would grow. It could be a Staphylococcus, a Streptococcus, a Coliform, or a Corynebacterium or anything else. The infections seemed to be associated with individual susceptibility factors, or else opportune entry of some ubiquitous bacteria into the udder of a cow. And multiple-resistance was not just limited to Staphs.
3. In the case of a single localised infected skin lesion, the simple application of a suitable antibiotic to the wound was one way of limiting the development of drug resistance, but the application of an alcoholic antiseptic such 2.5% iodine would be just as good. If the localised skin infection appeared to be inflamed more than usual, with signs of deeper inflammation, then local application of antibiotics plus oral or injected antibiotics chosen on the basis of the above sensitivity tests, was the best way to go.
4. I never wasted antibiotics on fresh, open wounds in order to prevent infections. Cosmetic considerations obviously come into play in humans, but the cost and risks of general anaesthetics in some large animals precluded rash surgery when cosmetics were not an issue. And even some minor wounds in small animals were better left to heal by ‘second intention healing’. Re the larger wounds, I’m talking about open gashes up to 12 inches long in some ‘working’ horses. So long as the wounds were such that they had good drainage, I used dry sulphanilamide powder in all such cases for 25 years, without ANY case ever needing any further treatment. We used to buy 50 kg kegs of 50 kg of sulphanilamide, plus small plastic puffers for small animals and soft plastic 250 mL dispensers for large animals. My rationale was that if you apply such a dry powder to a fresh wound, the first thing you notice is that the powder becomes damp (osmosis). This initially establishes the fluid movement at wound sites from inside to outside whereas infection of wounds requires movement of fluids from outside to inside. Powder is applied twice daily till it no longer sticks, in which case the wound naturally heals - fluid movements in and out have ceased and the wound is stable. Sulphonilamide has a limited antibacterial range in its own right, but controlled experiments on dogs in the 1950s suggested that it had the property of promoting skin healing independently of its antibacterial effects. Unfortunately, I would not know where to procure a puffer of sulphanilamide these days.

In all of the time I was doing my own sensitivity tests this way, I’d just assumed that every sensible professional on the planet was doing the same. The subject just never seemed to come up for discussion. I was quite surprised when I went to work and do a part-time PhD at a University when I discovered that the protocol in Microbiology Departments was to first incubate a smear of the swab on an agar plate without added antibiotic test strips for a day or two with the intent of identifying which colonies may be the pathogenic ones.

Then they would subculture that organism with antibiotic test strips applied. By this time, some days had passed and the results of the tests became academic rather than of practical use in most cases. A number of my cases would have been either dead or more difficult to treat.

I think I’ve gone well and truly over the limits for a post, but I may as well be hung for a cow as a calf (although I’d have some trouble carrying a cow off).

The matter of antibiotics in stock feed was also raised in this thread. The following website contains much interesting information on the subject if anyone is really interested. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/ ... etacar.pdf . The following is one screen dump extract:-

ANTIBIOTICS IN STOCK FEED.jpg


The above is a 1999 report so things may have changed considerably since then. But it does give an idea of the way legislation has been heading in the field over the last couple of decades.

A mention was also made to the effect that antibiotic resistance was associated with the length of time that antibiotics were used. I would like to express an opinion that if a sensitivity test has been conducted and an appropriate antibiotic is being used, then time is not really a factor per se. The antibiotic will kill the bacteria. In acute infections, a three-day dose of test-confirmed antibiotic will be enough to kill the bacteria. There is no sense in continuing the therapy. But if the infection is chronic, and there are ranges of chronic infections, APPROPRIATE antibiotic needs to be used for weeks or months. If the organism is sensitive to the antibiotic, and the antibiotic at the safe and the effective dose is not harming the host animal, then length of therapy is not a problem. An extreme example is tuberculosis in humans, in which case Streptomycin used to be administered for 6 months or more.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby doogles on August 8th, 2016, 6:19 am 

An afterthought - I should have pointed out that a single bacterium on the initial swab will show up as a 'colony' - as you can see on the seeded agar plate above. Most species of bacteria develop characteristic 'colonies' that vary in size, shape, consistency, colour; some are even transparent and glistening and some appear to spread out rather than stay consolidated. Some produce chemicals that haemolyse the red colour out of blood agar plates, and are referred to as 'haemolytic'.

The haemolytic Staphs appear to also contain cytotoxins. In some superficial ulcers on the skin of dogs, they actually destroy the skin cells producing lesions that resemble second-degree burns. The old-timers used to call this condition acute weeping eczema - serum oozes from the lesions. We always cultured haemolytic Staphs from them AND THERE WAS NO WAY WE COULD PREDICT WHICH ANTIBIOTIC SENSITIVITIES would show up on our plates the next morning. Each case had to be regarded as caused by a different strain of Staph and treated individually according to our test results.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby vivian maxine on August 8th, 2016, 9:51 am 

Great, doogles. You an have all the space you want for that kind of information. I give my unauthorized permission. <g>

Now, a short one. Everyone has heard of honey as an antibiotic. A friend swears by it and uses it often. I carried the idea in my head and call it folk lore. Not now. Another friend whose wounds refused to heal under the usual medical procedures is currently having them treated with honey - by medical doctors.

Not surprising. Doctors accepted that chicken soup does indeed work. Why not accept honey?
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby doogles on August 8th, 2016, 5:55 pm 

The topic of honey as an anti-microbial healing-agent is another one on which I can be anecdotal, vivian maxine. I did notice that the claims for this relate specifically to tea-tree honey and one other variety of flower that the bees feed on. I can't recall the name of the plant just now. As far as my memory has stored it, just any old honey is not suitable.

Winters in south western Victoria are usually cold, WET and windy. But one year it was unusually cold, DRY and windy. From a veterinarian's point of view, we were run off our feet attending cows' teats and udders. The teats in particular were becoming dry and split and infected with every condition recorded in the literature in Australia - pseudocowpox, herpes mammilitis, black spot, staphylococcal ulcers and nodules. As you can imagine, it was painful for the poor cows to be milked. Virtually every cow I was called to treat for anything had teat or udder lesions.

Every veterinarian and every store that sold farm medicines, sold out of udder ointments and salves that season.

In the middle of this I attended a cow at Greg Lee's farm to see a cow while he was in the middle of the afternoon milking. What caught my eye was that all of his cows had soft healthy teats with no lesions of any kind. This was astonishing at the time. naturally, I had to ask him why that was so. he took me to the engine room and pointed out a 25 litre drum of tea-tree oil. he said that he dipped all teats in a small container of the oil after every milking. I'm convinced that tea-tree oil was the answer, but unfortunately, we couldn't research things easily on a computer in those days.

So my guess is that if tea-tree honey has an anti-microbial effect, it will be because of alkaloids associated with the tea-tree flowers.

The other thing about honey on an open lesion (wound or ulcer) is that it is hypertonic, and would therefore act osmotically like a poultice, creating fluid movements from inside to outside, exactly the same as my dry powders on fresh wounds. This ensures that the body's defence chemicals get to the surface of the lesions.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby doogles on August 8th, 2016, 6:11 pm 

I found a Wikipedia site to manuka and tea-tree honey - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81nuka_honey .

It appears that 'manuka' may be the NZ equivalent of 'tea-tree'.
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Re: Antbiotics

Postby vivian maxine on August 8th, 2016, 6:25 pm 

Wonderful, doogles. Your last paragraph is especially applicable as each time my friend reports back to the doctor, he does a good cleaning out of the wound, bathes it (with what I do not know), applies more honey gel and wraps it in new bandages. During the following week, she bathes it (not deep as the doctor would, just a general washing, applies more honey (honey gel the doctor calls it) and puts on another clean bandage.

That tea tree - it has another curative use which will not come to mind right now. I only remember that there is a caution to not over-use it. A friend in Australia questioned his pharmacist who seemed to think there was no problem with it.
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