Contagion: Edging Closer to a World Without Antibiotics


Part 2: Drug resistance takes devastating human toll

A 2013 study estimated 60,000 infants in India die annually from sepsis caused by antimicrobial-resistant infections, and the expert who calculated the figure now believes the rate to be double that. Doctors increasingly treating babies with colistin see even those just born carry a frightening resistance to the drug. They worry about what to do when that last line of defence fails. The situation is desperate and not confined to developing countries. In Canada, hospitals also grapple with the rise of dangerous superbugs. The rapid spread of a highly resistant enzyme from South Asia to the West illustrates the global nature of drug resistance.