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A. Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Narrator: This is Science Today. Antibiotics, once hailed as miracle drugs, are becoming less effective with many bacterial infections - including strains of tuberculosis, staphylococcus pneumonia and even bubonic plague. Dr. Leland Rickman, of the University of California, San Diego's Division of Infectious Diseases, says these drug resistant super germs have flourished with the overuse and misuse of antibiotics.

Rickman: The overuse of antibiotics really facilitates the selective pressures for these bacteria to proliferate. So in other words, if you don't need an antibiotic don't take it.

Narrator: In the meantime, researchers are working on other approaches to combat these super germs.

Rickman: There are several very interesting targets in bacteria that offer the potential for us to kill the bacteria and some of these targets don't even involve antibiotics. They involve more of a host immune response. So I think the bottom line is, we're all looking at these agents.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.