A short story

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Bacteria, friends or foe. You cannot live with and yet you cannot live without. People, are you aware that these tiny microscopic creatures are THE ULTIMATE THREAT to the human beings. Why? Well, let us use the rule of five to figure out THE ANSWER.

Why? Because it is projected that in 2050, millions of people may die from bacterial resistance, and trillions of money will be spent.

Why? Because bacteria is becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics that one day and it is very soon , we may find ourselves unable to treat a dental abscess or a simple urinary tract infection

Why? Because the pipeline is dry and new antibiotics tackling priority bacteria are not expected near soon

Why? Because we read about it and talk about it but we do not consider ourselves part of it

Why? Because in the real word there is no real “ONE HEALTH, ONE WORD”

Are you aware that these living microorganisms are mobilizing the globe? Do we know how much time, resources and energy are we spending to figure out what we can do to win this battle? These creatures, invisible to the naked eye, have mobilized governments, international organizations, scientists, researchers, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies. Thousands of articles, literature reviews, commentaries, meetings, ongoing researches and millions may be more of money spent and yet, we still think that we are not doing enough. Guess who is winning the battle??? According to the latest statistics: THE BACTERIA.

We are busy talking about the devastating effect of nuclear power, we are putting strict rules and regulations and WE ALL AGREE. But, do we realize that a powerful killer is among us, threatening our sustainable development, our health, our children and our future. Are we aware that they are everywhere in and on our body, in our food, in our water, in our homes, they are with us, they live with us, and they travel with us? And yet, we need them, we cannot live without them.

So, what is the problem? Bacteria has existed on earth long before we did. They are essential for the normal function of our body but not all bacteria are beneficial, so, we declared war and we gloriously invented the antibiotic and then, the fight begun. We, with our developed brain, our technology, our money and resources, came to the conclusion that a bacteria with no brain, no money, no technology, and no resources have now the upper hand and the power to threaten the HUMAN BEING and there may be nothing we can do about it.

No matter how much we are genuinely trying, if we do not learn from bacteria, we will end up with a future where a microscopic little creature has the potential to undermine advances in medicine and threaten our health and existence.

So, we must learn from bacteria, but learn what?  Well, there are multiple complex mechanisms of bacterial resistance, somehow mainly relying on exchange. In order to survive, the bacteria join forces and exchange. One of the processes is called conjugation, they actually exchange DNA, people. This is the real, ONE HEALTH, ONE WORLD. Why? Because they have one fight: Antibiotics. And, they are winning without researches, without resources, without incentives, these creatures figured out that all it takes to survive the battle is to be united, to act consistently and join forces. We, humans on the other hand, do not consider that we are in a crisis mode and that antibiotic resistance should be the top priority on our agenda, we do not understand that strict unified rules and regulations must be applied. We do not realize that every person is accountable and money should not be more important than the right for every person to live and with good health. Today, despite all the whistle and the hassle, a physician somewhere still refuses to adhere to stewardship programs, a pharmacist somewhere still prescribe antibiotics, a hospital somewhere still is not willing to report, a government somewhere still is not considering antibiotic resistance a top priority and people nearly everywhere are not aware or maybe they are aware but not willing to consider that this is there problem. Lots of true genuine sustained efforts are being done. Yes, these efforts must be acknowledged. However, after much research and intense readings, I ended up with the conclusion that in this battle the real fear is not rom antibiotic resistance but from human resistance. So, people, LEARN and LEARN from the tiny brainless bacteria and be aware because the message it is sending is loud and clear but are you listening?


Katia Iskandar