Superbugs vs. our Super Immune System

This morning I was reading the news and I came across two headlines that had conflicting messages:

  • “Extremely Resistant Superbug Is Spreading Internationally”
  • “Superbug on the decline”

The first article was highlighting the spread of an Enterobacteriaceae bacteria producing an antibiotic resistant enzyme called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1).  The second article was referring to the decline in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Superbugs get their name because these bacteria have established resistance to common antibiotics.  Resistance most frequently happens as a result of overuse and abuse of antibiotics.  Those bacteria that have some natural resistance to antibiotics survive, those that are susceptible will die.  Remember that whole survival of the fittest thing?