THE WAR AGAINST DISEASE
In 1847, a Hungarian Semmelweis noted that 30% of mothers died after delivering their children. He noted medical students were leaving the autopsy rooms and going to deliver babies. His idea of infection was rejected and he died penniless and insane.
In 1860, Pasteur told us that germs caused disease.
In 1880, a German, Koch identified bacteria and discovered how to isolate and grow them.
In 1909, Ehrlich discovered arsphenamine as the first drug for syphilis.
In 1928, Fleming discovered Penicillin but it took until 1938 before it was used in the war against bacteria.
In 1932, Domagu discovered sulfur to kill strep bacteria.
In 1943, Flory and Chain made penicillin commercially and by 1953 400 tons a year were produced.
In 1949, Waksman discovered streptomycin which was used for TB treatment.
In 1947, Chloromycetin and Tetracycline were discovered.
Since 1960 only one new family of antibiotics have been discovered, the Quinolones. They wreck the chromosomes of bacteria but their use have severe side effects.
THE FUTURE OF BUG KILLERS
With the use of antibiotics and vaccines, we thought we could stamp out all disease. Our past successes with small pox, diphtheria, polio, TB and syphilis led us to believe the war against germs was won.
In the matter of time all disease will be analyzed and wiped out. We think nature is benign. We mistakenly thought that all agents causing disease would react to our miracle antibiotics. Yet viruses, bacteria, and parasites remain a threat to the survival of mankind without killing the human host.
In 1950 , Penicillin killed 100% of staph bacteria; in 1980 only 10% of staph were destroyed by penicillin.
Bacteria are either rods or round, have no nucleus, and reproduce by dividing (as fast as every 20 minutes). They survive anywhere. 90% of the 1000 million cells that make our bodies are bacteria. Staph bacteria live over our entire skin (1 million per inch).
Bacteria are our friends. Only a few bacteria are harmful. The good bacteria keep the world clean and green. They release nitrogen into plants. Bacteria in our mouth keep harmful bacteria away. Our white cells make macrophages that are suicide cells destroy bad bacteria and then they die.
Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria. The lactobacillus in the vagina is destroyed causing yeast overgrowth, and Eshcericia coli in the bowel is killed with antibiotics causing diarrhea.
Deadly bacteria reproduce in less than one hour, doubling all the time. As they reproduce they are not the same bacteria, but mutants occur. The antibiotics may wipe them away anyway, but some resist and may survive in the host. Previously harmless bacteria now become hostile. They can pass on resistance to the antibiotics without inheriting it.
In 1983, McClintock found bacteria have rings of DNA (plasmids) that reproduce and have genetic changes that tell the bacteria how to defend against the antibiotics. Pnemococci bacteria were found to devour random strings of DNA and cause mutations.
This results in super bugs in high concentrations in locations where antibiotics and bacteria are found, mainly in the very sick people in hospitals. Workers in hospitals carry strep to the hospital. Intensive care units harbor super bugs that are not destroyed by germicidal cleaning. Personnel go outside to smoke and return with outdoor bacteria. Nurses and doctors constantly attending to the very sick harbor bacteria in their noses and on their skin that to them are not harmful but to the immune deficient patient these bacteria become virulent.
"Bugs are out there to get us". All we have to do is wipe out the enemy and we will be cleaned. Kids in day care centers are given antibiotic creams for cuts and bruises that result in super bugs. Patients visit the doctor with a cold and insist on an antibiotic to get well fast. Doctors comply rather than discuss the matter. Besides, it could become a malpractice issue if the patient later got pneumonia.
We have been destroying good bacteria that are part of us, that help us in ways that we do not know. Bacteria change and we create new antibiotics to kill them but the bacteria alter again. We have new organisms proliferate that never existed before in nature. Our body’s defenses now make antibodies against our own cells. Our immune system becomes deficient . The macrophages and T cells can’t reproduce fast enough to build up our defenses.
There are other reasons for this decrease in body immunity. Some are: industrial pollution, domestic waste, animals fed antibiotics which become our hamburgers. These and others will be discussed later in this chapter.
We must keep our immunity strong. American acupuncture is one excellent way of restoring the bodies balance and defenses to fight existing diseases.