Each year, at least 23,000 Americans die from drug-resistant infections carried by so-called superbugs — pathogens that were once easily treatable but that can now withstand modern medicine’s full arsenal of antibiotics. Superbugs could in fact surpass cancer as a leading cause of death by 2050, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with a number of leading scientists, have warned that the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in both humans and animals is the driving force behind this threat to public health.
As some researchers contemplate the end of antibiotics, others are taking up the question of what we might use to replace them.
One possibility could involve probiotics (essential component of Kefir, amongst others), beneficial microbes that boost the health of their host, starting with the gut. It’s thought that probiotics might be able to do the two most common jobs of livestock antibiotics: helping animals grow bigger, and helping them avoid disease.
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See TED talk on What do we do when antibiotics do not work any more?