As the Covid-19 pandemic moves across the world, it may drag a second slow-motion pandemic behind it. Even though Covid-19 is a viral illness not affected by antibiotics, early data from hospitals shows that very high proportions of patients—more than 90 percent in some cohorts—are being treated with those drugs to cure or protect against secondary infections during respiratory illnesses or hospitalization. That’s being accompanied by an unmeasured but possibly huge number of people taking antibiotics on their own.
Those parallel phenomena mean that Covid-19 could whomp up antibiotic resistance, pathogens’ adaptive ability to defend themselves against drugs intended to kill them. Resistance is already a crisis: It causes an estimated 700,000 deaths around the world each year, almost four times the death toll from the novel coronavirus so far. Diminishing the power of antibiotics could undermine an important part of the medical response to Covid-19.
“In the context of Covid-19, antibiotics should be considered as important as protective gowns or facemasks,” says Adam Roberts, a microbiologist and antibiotic discoverer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in an interview with WIRED magazine. “We do not expect healthcare workers to go into hospital situations without the correct protective equipment. Nor should we expect clinics to do their job without the appropriate antibiotics. It is part of our defense for any pandemic situation.”
Madam Therapeutics endorses this view, and therefore works in parallel on the development of new antibiotics, as well as new treatment for the corona virus, both based on it’s peptide based antimicrobial platform.
Source: WIRED magazine