A future without antibiotics?

The possibility that our most commonly prescribed drugs, which we've relied on for nearly eight decades to kill infections, will stop working—indeed, in some cases, already have — is nearly unfathomable.

Each year, more than 2 million people in the United States become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and about 23,000 of them die. "Unfortunately this problem is going to get worse before it gets better, and more people will die," says microbiologist David Weiss, director of Emory's Antibiotic Resistance Center. "If you can die from a scrape or a common infection, honestly, everyone's life is going to change a lot." Dr. Weiss is a faculty member in the IMP and MMG programs.

Commonplace illnesses and routine surgeries would once again become life-threatening, and chemotherapy, organ transplantation, and other tools of modern medicine would be off the table.

Also mentioned in this story are Christine Dunham, a faculty member in the BCDB, MMG and MSP programs, Cassandra Quave, a faculty member in the MMG and MSP programs, and Bill Shafer, a faculty member in the MMG and PBEE programs.

Click here to view the full story in Emory Medicine.