Military calls for antibiotic replacement

Most everyone that has been keeping abreast of world events knows that the clock is ticking on antibiotics; bacteria have been slowly developing a resistance and development of new antibiotics has slowed to a crawl, thus the day will soon come that all of the tools were are currently using to fight bacterial infections will be lost, leaving everyone at their mercy. This problem has not gone unnoticed by the military in the USA, who have commissioned  a Request for Proposals (RFP) to completely replace antibiotics with something new and better.

As noted in the RFP, the military has seen firsthand the problems with current antibiotics; soldiers experiencing wounds in war, especially those involved in fires, that develop bacterial infections now require triple the amount of hospital time to recover.

Instead of working to develop new antibiotics, DARPA proposes the development and use of so-called nanoparticles to deliver gene altering chemicals directly to the cells of bacteria to kill them. In addition, they are hoping that someone will be able to come up with a way to make it so that the nanoparticles and chemicals they carry can be reprogrammed on-the-fly so as to combat newly evolved or created bacteria as soon as they appear.

Edited from antibiotic replacement. Strange that no one seems to have mentioned the bacteriophage suggested by Alan Mason – Deskarati –

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2 Responses to Military calls for antibiotic replacement

  1. alfy says:

    The great problem about bacteriophages is that they are cheap to produce. You only need a moderately equipped bacteriological lab to make them. It is obviously far more sensible to spend millions of dollars on unproven technology because hopefully the new product can be sold expensively to hospitals and physicians all over the world to make a lot of money from the original investment.

    Who would want to promote a scheme whereby third world countries could tailor their own bacteriophages to local needs and make them in their own labs without much Western input? The fact that it would create high-level job opportunities for people in the third world must also be seen as a grave disadvantage.

    No, let’s go for nano-particles or any other new and expensively speculative schemes.

    • Deskarati says:

      I can fully understand your argument Alfy, but perhaps, just perhaps, there is a stumbling block for the implementation of a bacteriophage defence system! Not that I have heard of one. I shall do a little digging to see if I can find an answer that’s not so conspiratorial.

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