Can we win the battle with “Super Bacteria”?


Lately, an article on internet named “A middle-aged man haunted by flu in Beijing” caused tremendous response, the author’s suffering is sympathetic and thought-provoking. Apart from problems in modern medical system, this article also reflects a sever challenge in biological and medical science. The patient infected with an unknown virus and antibiotics Super Bacteria, whose condition worsened and died within a month, whereas the modern medical science has nothing to do with it. In fact, clinical cases infected with Super Bacteria appeared occasionally in recent years, and its frequency has been arising and abuse of antibiotics has been forming a great threat to public health security in decades of years. Since appearance of medical science, human have been fighting with bacteria for thousands of years. Fleming found penicillin in 1928 that is a biological weapon comes from antinomyces and fungus, and it once made human had upper hand in the battle, however, along with antibiotics appearance and overgrowth of varied bacterial flora, human is losing is dominant position in the battle. It is reported that if this is situation develops, 30,000,000 people will die of drug-resistant bacteria until 2050[1].


The server situation antibiotics faced with is appearance and overgrowth of drug resistant bacteria. In medical science, the treatment is often to increase dosage of antibiotics, administrate with more than one type of antibiotics, or administrate with “trump card” like vacomycin, but all of the above treatment will lead to drug resistant in a larger scale inevitably. For R & D of new type antibiotics is limited by pharmacokinetics validation and side effects, it makes a slow progress and its success rate is limited. Thus, to search for a weapon to kill Super Bacteria in existing drugs is a new research point.


It is a pity that academic circle put considerable effort into bacteria and its drug resistant research, but none approach has been found to turn the table of fighting with bacteria by now, thus the threat of “Super Bacteria” will persist, and this situation will be worse. More attention need to be paid to this sever problem by the society to promote technological progress of medical and biological, thereby, human will dominate in the foreseeable fighting in future.


Author: Chromatin


1. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: final report and recommendations. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2016.

2. Wang, Runming, et al. "Bismuth antimicrobial drugs serve as broad-spectrum metallo-β-lactamase inhibitors." Nature communications 9.1 (2018): 439.

3. Tucker, Ashley T., et al. "Discovery of Next-Generation Antimicrobials through Bacterial Self-Screening of Surface-Displayed Peptide Libraries." Cell (2018).

4. Burke, Thomas P. "The Unexpected Effects of the Combination of Antibiotics and Immunity." Cell 172.5 (2018): 891-893.

5. Kawai, Yoshikazu, Katarzyna Mickiewicz, and Jeff Errington. "Lysozyme Counteracts β-Lactam Antibiotics by Promoting the Emergence of L-Form Bacteria." Cell (2018).

6. Karkman, Antti, et al. "Antibiotic-Resistance Genes in Waste Water." Trends in microbiology (2017).