This is Science Today. Federal health officials
have recently announced bacteria that cause serious
illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis are
becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Dr. Leland Rickman, an expert in infectious disease
at the University of California, San Diego, says
while this is alarming, it's not surprising.
Bacteria from centuries ago have actually been
discovered that are resistant to antibiotics even
before we discovered them. So, it's nothing new
for the bacteria to be able to produce antibiotics
in their own right.
What is new, is how quickly drug-resistant bacteria
are evolving and outsmarting us.
In the past, at least we've had the ability to
develop new antibiotics to stay one or two steps
ahead of some of these microorganisms. But with
recent events over the last several years, it's
obvious to me and to others that at some point,
we are going to lose some antibiotics against
certain infections that could potentially bring
us back to the pre-antibiotic era.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.