Antibiotic resistance is not exclusively a health issue.
It’s a national security threat, as the Department of Defense has tapped a team of West Virginia University scientists to help exterminate the enemy – infectious biological agents.
With the aid of $1.4 million-grant from the DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, researchers, led by Mariette Barbier of the WVU School of Medicine, will aim to develop small molecule and antibody therapeutics to treat infections prone to antibiotic resistance.
Nearly three million people in the United States get an antibiotic-resistant infection each year. Of those, more than 35,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This happens when bacteria and fungi thrive because they’re too powerful for the drugs designed to kill them. By 2050, experts have predicted that more people might die from these antibiotic-resistant infections than by cancer – that is unless research like Barbier’s is successful.
Check out the article here from WVU today