A Pennsylvania patient suffering from urinary tract infection caused by the bacterial species known as Escherichia Coli was given antibiotics that had no effect in eliminating the bacterias.

The reason for this is a gene in the bacteria that have developed resistance towards the kind of antibiotic we use. Experts warns about the great danger that if this genetic mutation becomes widespread in the world it will mean that urinary tract infections can no longer be treated with today’s medicine.

They also point to the facts that the cause of this problem in the first place is the extensive mis-usage of antibiotics in general to treat various kinds of infections, where many of them do not require antibiotics, such as with viral infections.  Additionally, in cases where antibiotics actually are required to cure patients, they are used to a too-much large extent so that other kinds of bacteria (for example the friendly bacteria in the stomach) is being eradicated.  This accelerates the process towards antibiotic resistance as well.

Because of the relative prevalence of antibiotic resistance, 23,000 people die each year in the United States and roughly 2 million illnesses are caused by resistant bacterias.

Dr. Gail Cassell who is a microbiologist and senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School explains that everyone can minimize the risk of being infected by bacteria by washing hands and washing vegetables and fruits.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden, says that we need new kinds of antibiotics in order to treat patients who have bacteria which are resistant to last resort antibiotic.  However, medical companies today may chose rather to invest capital in cancer-fighting drugs since they generate much more profit.

However in January some diagnostic companies and drugmakers wrote a declaration which calls for new incentives by governments to help aid financing the development of new antibiotics.