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Rise of the Superbug – Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Dr. Karl Klose at TEDxSanAntonio

Rise of the Superbug – Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Dr. Karl Klose at TEDxSanAntonio

Translator: Hao-Wei Chang
Reviewer: Diba Szamosi Antibiotics were the wonder drugs
of the 20th century. Now, amazingly antibiotics are responsible for extending the average human life
about ten years. But we are currently in the middle
of a global crisis where antibiotics are loosing their effectiveness against infectious diseases. The headlines, if you can see them,
are very alarming. Bacteria are rapidly becoming resistant to all of the antibiotics that we currently use. Now, in order to understand
the nature of this problem, you have to understand bacteria. We live in a world filled with bacteria. Bacteria are everywhere. Everything that you look at, everything you touch, everything you put in your mouth, everything you sit on is covered with millions and millions of bacteria. They’re so small that you can’t see them
without a microscope. But they’re there.
And they are literally everywhere. You can find them at the bottom
of the deepest part of the ocean. You can find them
at the top of the tallest mountain. You can even find them
in the polar ice caps. They can live in places
where there is no sunlight, no oxygen, no food. They can grow in radioactive waste, and in toxic chemicals, and in boiling hot springs. When bacteria find a place
where they can survive, they’ll multiply fast to very high numbers. Now, one of the places
that bacteria like to call home is the human body. A recent survey by microbiologists identified over ten thousand different microbes that live on, or in the human body. In fact, there are more bacterial cells in you than there are human cells. And there are more bacteria genes in you than human genes. So you can argue that each one of you is actually more bacterium
than you are human. (Laughter) So, now we have established that I am talking to a room full of bacteria — (Laughter) — I’m going to flatter the audience
here a little bit and tell you that bacteria
are amazing organisms. And one of the things
that makes them so amazing is their ability to share genes
with each other. Now, I need to describe this a little bit more. Because this lies at the heart of how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. And I don’t have any slides, so I’ll have to describe it to you. As you probably know: Who you are lies in your genes. So, for example,
if you’re tall or you have blue eyes is because you have genes
that make you tall or that give you blue eyes. And likewise bacteria that can live
in Antarctica have genes that make them resistant
to the cold. And bacteria that are not killed by penicillin have genes that make them resistant
to penicillin. So where did these genes come from? Well, you are familiar with humans, who are born with a set of genes, that they inherit from their parents. And they keep the same genes
until the day that they die. So, for example, if you’re born
with brown eyes, even if you wish that you have blue eyes, your eyes will remain brown
until the day that you die. Because these were the genes
that you born with. But this is not true for bacteria, who are in a habit of sharing
genes with each other in some pretty incredible ways. And one of the ways the bacteria will share genes
with each other, is through picking genes up
from their surroundings. And they usually do this after
one of their neighbors has died. So we’re going to refer to this technique
as the funeral grab. OK, bacteria Number 1 dies and releases it’s genes
into the surroundings, and now bacteria Number 2
will pick up some of these genes and pull them in. So now bacteria Number 2
can do something that previously
only bacteria Number 1 could do. So this is equivalent
of you going to the funeral of someone who had blue eyes, taking a piece of their body out of the casket and eating it. And hey! You have blue eyes too. But now imagine that instead of blue eyes, you now are resistant to tetracycline. Another way that bacteria have to share genes is through viruses. So, yes, bacteria get
their version of the flu too. And there are a lot of viruses
that will infect bacteria. So, we’re going to call this technique:
the viral pass. A virus will infect bacteria Number 1 and pick up some of its genes, and then inject these genes
into bacteria Number 2. Now bacteria Number 2
can do something that previously only bacteria Number 1
could do. So this is the equivalent
of you catching the flu from someone who has blue eyes. And after catch the flu,
your eyes turn blue too. But, now imagine that instead of blue eyes, you’re now resistant to methacycline. And the third way that bacteria share genes
is through sex. So, yes, bacteria have sex too. And they’re actually pretty promiscuous. So, we’re going to refer to this technique as makin’ whoopee.
(Laughter) So bacteria Number 1, the donor, builds a bridge to bacteria Number 2,
the recipient, through which genes are passed from the donor to the recipient – much like sexual activity you’re familiar with. But at the end of this sexual activity, bacteria Number 2
can now do something, that previously only bacteria Number 1
could do before sex. So this is the equivalent of having sex
with the blue-eyed partner. And after sex, you eyes turn blue too. (Laughter) But now imagine instead of blue eyes, now you are resistant to vancomycin. (Laughter) So you see bacteria have lots of ways to share genes among each other. And with over ten thousand
different types of bacteria in the human body alone, not to mention the millions
of bacteria everywhere that you look, this is a huge community that’s sharing antibiotic-resistant genes
with each other. So, now in order to understand
antibiotic resistence, you have to understand
how antibiotics actually work. So, in many ways bacteria
are very different than humans. And what this means is they have
a lot of components that can be target by specific chemicals. So antibiotics are fantastic drugs. Because they can kill bacterium
without harming the human by recognizing something very specific
in the bacterium and not the human. They work like a key and a lock, very specifically finding and binding their target which leads to inactivation of the bacterium. But bacteria have evolved a number of different defensive maneuvers to avoid being killed by antibiotics. So we’re going to talk about three ways that bacteria can become resistant. And the first way
we are going to call the “up-chuck”. The antibiotic targets something specific inside the bacterial cell. But as soon as the antibiotic gets inside, the bacterium barfs it right back out. Preventing it from finding its target. This is a technique that bacteria use to be resistant to tetracycline. Another way we’re going to call
the “stealth mode”. So the antibiotic recognizes something
specifically again in the bacterial cell. So the bacterium changes
the target just enough, so that the antibiotic no longer recognizes it. The target is in stealth mode. The antibiotic has no effect. And the bacterium is resistant. This is a technique that bacteria use to be resistant to streptomycin. And the third way we’re going to call
“the ballistic missile defense”. The bacteria makes a type of weapon that goes out and finds the antibiotic before the antibiotic can find its target. The bacterium sends out waves of this missiles that breakdown the antibiotic and allow the bacterium to survive. So this is a technique that bacteria actually use to be resistant to penicillin. So you can see that the bacteria have lots of simple and effective ways to avoid being killed by antibiotics, that include things like:
upchucks, stealth modes and ballistic missiles. And the genes for these
antibiotic resistant mechanisms are shared among the bacteria. Through funeral grabs, viral passes,
and makin’ whoopee. So remember the important atributes
of bacteria: they are small, they multiply fast,
and they share genes. Your body is chock-full of millions of good, innocent bacteria, that cause you no harm, they live in a peaceful
gated community inside of you. (Laughter) But now let’s imagine that some bad bugs
move into this neighborhood, and start causing trouble,
being obnoxious, playing loud music,
trashing the neighborhood. You feel sick. You go to the doctor. You get some antibiotics,
and you take them. The antibiotics kill off
most of the bad bugs and a lot of good bugs as well. So now you’re feeling better, so you stop taking the antibiotics
before the doctor prescribed. So what happens next? Well, let’s say that one of the good bacteria
was already resistant. So when half of the neighborhood dies off from this antibiotic armageddon, it multiplies fast to occupy
all the empty houses. As in any war, in order to win, we need to develop new
and more powerful weapons to fight and defeat them. And the time to invest
in new antibiotic is now, before we’re completely out of weapons. This needs to be a continuous,
sustained effort. One that really should be considered a global health arms race. With funding support, new antibiotic
can be developed continuously, and released continuously into the market. As you can now appreciate, it is inevitable bacteria will eventually
become resistant to the next antibiotic. But by this time,
the next antibiotic will be ready. A sobering thought is that a number of people in this room are only here today, because antibiotics saved your lives at some point in the past. We need to avoid returning
to the pre-antibiotic era, where common bacterial infections, resulting from things like a cut,
or a scratch, or a struck throat, could sometimes be a death sentence. In this manner, with new antibiotics, we can maintain the upper hand against the rise of the superbugs. Thank you. (Applause)

60 thoughts on “Rise of the Superbug – Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Dr. Karl Klose at TEDxSanAntonio

  • I agree with you; but I am watching it right now and fear I might be missing all the edits, ie I don't see them. Can you share at what points the talk has been (visibly) edited? Thanks 🙂

  • I jsut made another test; after reloading the page, Thumbs down is still down, and shows on the counter. Maybe that part is jsut a bug in Youtube, or a glitch with your browser? I don't think it's possible to disable *only* Thumbs downs without disabling Thumbs ups.

  • For the most part of the talk, I thank Dr Klose. However, with no new antibiotic in the horizon, particularly in the context of Hospital Acquired Infections, I believe, it is time to talk about prevention. Its funny, how two top business power houses (Petroleum and Pharma with around 19% annual profit) are deciding our future in 21st Century

  • I'm with Ian. If there was a power outage wouldn't the light have gone out? It would seem as if there would almost be total darkness. And a brief intermission to restore power. But is was cut and picked up as if edited. I have seen power outage videos and this TED video was edited. For what reason I'm not sure. I wouldn't go as far as to say censored but this is very sketch.

  • This was my microbiology teacher at UTSA! I miss this guy, his lectures were always so engaging and insightful. I wish he would teach med micro at my school now 🙂

  • Our answer is Hemp Oil. That plant was given to us by nature. Should be used to treat any infection or possibly any disease. There is no such thing as "hemp oil resistance" lol

  • I'm a little disappointed that the conclusion is that we need new and more powerful antibiotics. How do we address the problem of bacteria continuing to evolve to resist the antibiotics?

  • The bacteria evolving is not the problem, it's natural and has been happening since the beginning of time, it cannot be stopped, scientists accept this. However, the problem is over using antibiotics to the point where the bacteria become superbugs -resistant to many forms of antibiotics, so much so, its treatment becomes difficult esp. when there are no current cures.

  • Nonsense, human life has been extended greatly by sanitation, nutrition, and vaccines. Most bacteria are beneficial to human life, they synthesize some essential vitamins, make soil fertile, etc. Bacteria can transfer genes by extra circular plasmid dna, which are self replicating extra chromosomal elements. Antibiotics work on different targets, cell wall, protein synthesis, or RNA synthesis.
    Bacteria rarely acquire genes from viruses, why?  Bacterial restriction enzymes which cleave viral nucleic acids in fragments.

    Most healthy humans and other mammals defend and cure themselves with their own immune system.  Note; it is the human's body hyper-immune reaction to sugar-protein ( glycoproteins ) components of the gram-negative bacteria that are responsible for the ill symptoms of most common bacterial infections.  Biologists  proved this decades ago by killing bacteria and injecting fragments of gram-negative cell wall into animals resulting in the animals becoming ill with some dying without an active infection.  Since, then this phenomena has also been proven in humans. 

    A couple of decades ago, many children in the U.S.A.  died of meningitis not due to bacterial blood infections, but to the antibiotics prescribed by their Medical Doctors. The fragments of killed bacteria induced hyper-immune response causing inflammation of the brain which resulted in death.

  • how many there are superbugs in a place not mentioned become it is considered a shame so it is not intended to be well controlled but rather solved-problem as to I am not jealous any more – this is sexual transmitted diseases? who care? it is a shame, right but who want to expose it and so nice hot place for delivering shit to the people. I am amazed how stupid men are influenced by destruction archons in the heart of those evil being in cooperation and collective people with educations.
    Yes, fulfill the prophesies in the bible. to go in heaven. say something as condemnation and it goes in the subconscious to come back in reality and say something good and see it to be served and live free from a desire to come into harm. all that in the bible would take place become we are forced to kill our selves as we suppress and treat life as shit not as be joyful. we human are insane indeed the way we make ourselves so little to deserve the cause of our death on other and the selves. sacrifice more to the evil for control sake and end up on one side being killed by men for the sake of the other side for being part of the cause. nice opposition to bring a war better then suffering a long time sick with hateful human being. the light of a god would burn us in the world not ours. we have used the bible to do evil rather to grow into high conscious like that Of Christ. this is the most shame I see in my life. will not be forgiven. no saver for then. pray for your life for the archons in your heart to harm other and have a nice laugh. this evil subtle pattern of human doing is real. in your psychic realm.   

  • If antibiotics were originally adaptations developed by organisms as a defense mechanism against bacteria, perhaps the key to solving antibiotic resistance is exposing these types of organisms (fungus, etc.) to antibiotic resistant bacteria to try to provide the evolutionary pressure for them to develop an effective defense. Now evolution is a slow process but perhaps it can be helped along by carefully monitored selective breeding and genetic engineering of promising organism candidates.

  • Outstanding presentation.  Comedy and simplistic descriptions.  This is the mark of an excellent teacher.  Highly complex data brought down to a kindergardener's level.  Not everybody can do that.  Again OUTSTANDING.

  • Such an incredibly important talk, arguably one of the most important… It's really a shame they had technical difficulties….

  • Antibiotics are the cause of the superbugs especially when they give you alot to take it whips all the good and bad bacteria out leaving your immune system very low and can cause alot of problems in the body, antibiotics are not the answer its natural remedies for everything from the health store

  • Excellent talk! I plan to use this in my biology class when speaking about antibiotic resistance. Thanks!

  • Using cheap, shitty generic versions made in India doesn't help either.
    Cheap medicine brands are poor quality and often don't work as well as the branded stuff.
    Cost-cutting costs lives!

  • People who bothered to watch this video are already going to know that antibiotics don't work for viral infections such as the common cold.
    The people that need to be targeted for education are the masses of people who frown in frustration if their doctor is a bit hesitant to prescribe them an antibiotics for their cough/cold.
    The middle classes can go around clapping themselves on the back all day long about how wise it is not to use antibiotics for colds but the herd of the common man is the future of humanity and they don't want to be denied antibiotics from doctors who are considered as vending machines who should obey their customers.

  • Antibiotics should be called anti-bacterial agents. Their overuse by doctors is because of the expectations of the patients. Every day, millions of patients around the world go to their doctor with coughs and colds and expect antibiotics. Explaining that viruses are not affected by antibiotics takes an average of an extra 7 minutes for a family doctor while prescribing an antibiotic takes 1 minute. Multiply that by 15 consultations per day and you see that the doctor can save themselves 90 minutes per day if they don't bother to cajole, debate and and explain about how antibiotics won't work for viral infections.
    The Youtube righteous indignation teen brigade will now respond that such doctors should be struck off from practicing medicine/hung by the neck/shipped to Mars. I will sigh. Humanity is doomed. The ticking of the clock cannot be stopped.


    My Mother died of this only 3 weeks ago. I buried her just before Christmas in 2014. She was in a home. Her death was horrible. Initially they intubated her on propofol in the Hospital and gave her IV vancomycin & ceftazadine for 2 weeks under mechanical ventilation and for another week adding a third IV Antibiotic. They suctioned her after extubation. All was well but it came back again with a vengeance. What made it so bad is that now she was in the last stages of Alzheimer's
    Her brain had forgot how to swallow. She was continually aspirating. She was on thickened fluids for nutrition.
    Her O2 went from 94 % to 52 % in one hour. She had advanced Alzheimer's & had several strokes and was completely paralyzed, as she could not walk or talk for years. However, we could still communicate so beautifully
    And when I touched her tiny warm arm and hands, I knew there would be a day when I longed to hold her warm hands again! She was my Mom, my Angel and I miss her so much. I would have given her my life if I could have. She died in my arms but even on oxygen when I took her oxygen mask off just for a few seconds to put some ice cubes on her lips for hydration, her oxygen saturation went down to 52 % in less than a minute. In healthy patients it should always be at 100% saturation.Her veins turned a black colour because the brain only knows that it must go into Survival Mode. The "brain needed the oxygen to keep the heart beating & her lungs breathing Therefore, there was no oxygen going to her vital organs now. She had what is termed a "death growl" it was horrible. I begged the nurses to give her something to dry up the mucus in her throat but they said she did not need it yet. Her eyes were closed for a few days, but when she took her last four breaths, on her last second breath she opened her beautiful big blue eyes and looked at me. I screamed Mom, mom, please, please don't leave me. But there she was, already becoming stiff in her arms and mouth in a matter of mins. I cried for hours over her dead body, now only a shell. There is not a day when I don't cry and mourn her death.
    I wanted her intubated again but she was so skinny & frail & the doctors said she would not survive this time and that she would suffer even more admitting her into the hospital again. I kissed her forehead and told her how much I loved her and that I would never leave her. I stroked her hair and told her gently that it was ok if she did not want to fight this fight anymore. I thanked her for giving me life and for being the best Mother in the whole wide world. We were inseparable. The tears ran down my face and onto her bedding. God I miss her so so much.
    I was thinking that she saw my first breath and I saw her last breath. I hope she is running in flowery Fields and I hope that she is speaking to every one she sees. No one should live or die this way. ALZHEIMER'S and MRSA are horrible, silent killers.
    I love you and miss you my darling beautiful Mother. I will love you always and forever, Love, your loving daughter, Sue xoxoxoxoxo

  • this is my uncle and i have gotten this lecture before. he can be a very funny dude but not when he is on business. He is a great guy tho ^_^

  • Scientists, are so pre-occupied with whether, or not they could. they do not stop, to think if they should. Its ironic, a fantasy movie. Aptly, describes the medical crisis we face today, I am talking about Ebola, and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Humanity is now facing a mortal enemy that surpasses our own Intelligence. A tiny microorganism, that has indeed, brought us to our knees.

    It has learned from us, adapted to us, and now exploits our genetic vulnerability, with lethal precision. Sadly, he who dare to speak up, are ridiculed, ignored, dismissed and often ostracised, by members of our own, profession. As the death toll mounts, our greed, addiction toward, over enthusiastic urge to encourage consultation, perform tests, procedures, hospitalisation and antibiotic abuse escalates at, alarming rates.

    This threat to humanity and our profession is real and is like to wipe of a generation before the end of next decade, that mean to stay you and I may not be alive to read this comment by 2025. Identifying and isolating infected patient is the only option we must working on, if not the tsunami of bugs will wipe out every living organism, human and animals on its way.

    Medical Advice You Access is the only option because avoiding contact, abusing antibiotics is mandatory (I hope this may help reduce some death)

  • I was shocked at the end. Up until the end Dr Klose's talk provided support/evidence of overuse of antibiotics and at the end he said we need to make more antibiotics, just stronger and faster…..hmmmm….

  • Everybody relax and rest assured! – I got the Superkiller of any "superbugs", the Future belongs not to medicine and its poisonous drugs and useless "therapies", but to us Immortal Humans! – IMMORTALITY ALREADY IS A FACT! – I can make everybody immortal – The key to Immortality is staying absolutely healthy all the time – Infinite Health already is reality – I got the power (and everybody can possess it) to destroy any pathogens instantly, to curb any global pandemics and to erase any diseases from the face of the Earth in a matter of days – Any threat worldwide will be completely avoided, once everybody (kids and adults) start doing my discovery (the greatest one of all time on Earth and maybe in the Universe) – My WVCD – The Weapon of Virus and Cancer Destruction – By far more powerful than the human immune system, keeping it intact all the time, for any pathogens are killed the moment they touch us – Just an exercise for a minute a day – the cure and prevention of any diseases, known on Earth for millions of years – Infections, Cancers, Diabetes, MS, Autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chronic Diseases, Autoimmune Diseases and Strokes (Cerebrovascular Diseases) – Even Tibetans and Yogis don't know how to stay absolutely healthy all the time – Everybody (kids and adults) will stay that way, for the WVCD supplies every cell of our bodies with enough oxygen, that kills any pathogens the moment they touch us and prevents us from any diseases – The price of the WVCD for the whole world is 5 billion bucks – Just 25 million bucks per country – Once I am paid the money, everybody (kids and adults) will know how to stay absolutely healthy all the time – Never getting sick of any diseases even for a second – Welcome to Immortality!

  • COLLOIDAL SILVER! This guy is a good example of how our education system has squashed brilliant minds and disallows valuable but unpatentable

  • First I would like to say that the presentation was outstanding and thank you for explaining such a vague topic so simply and beautifully. To begin with, Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world's most pressing public health problems. It can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous infections, prolonging suffering for children and adults. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic. It occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply, causing more harm. I also appreciated the point that every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (bacteria that antibiotics can still attack) are killed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply. This is how repeated use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to family members, schoolmates, and co-workers, and may threaten your community. I totally agree with Dr. Klose that the bacteria are amazing organisms that have a variety of strategies to cause disease and antibiotics are the one to fight bacteria. The FDA should encourage the researcher and pharmacist to develop new antibiotics and new classes of antibiotics and other antimicrobials. Yet bacteria can rapidly convert to become antibiotic resistant, they are in the constant presence of antibiotics, such as in hospitals. If the fight against bacterial infections is viewed as a war against an ever-changing foe, the best strategy is to constantly develop new "weapons". It would be great if the researcher discovers new antibiotics. In addition, people should use the existing antibiotics carefully. As Dr. Klose mentioned, with new antibiotics we can maintain the upper hand against the rise of superbugs.

  • antibiotics does kill and harm human intestinal cells….please refer to Alanna Collen and Blasser latest findings…Karl, you are wrong…

  • Prevention the best and maybe only way to go, invest more in environmental health. However, with evident effects of climate change, antibiotic resistance will only get worse.

  • I wonder how much over – using Chlorhexidine (CHG) is affecting our MICROBIOME. CHG is in so many over the counter products & over used in medical facilities. CHG wipes out the good flora, which is the base of our immune system ( & MICROBIOME).

  • I had acinetobacter,pseudomonas,enterococcus,clostridium difficile,Mesa,cadidosis all going on at once contracted in Thailand

  • This shouldn't be funny but this guy is hilarious I know they say a lot of people won't take something seriously if it's light hearted but I think it makes people listen more! Great presentation!

  • Audience keep laughing. I can tell you one thing. I was sick on superbactetia. There was no laughing then.

  • It's amazing you know that something so simple like colloidal silver can help overcome superbugs. I've used it to cure ear infections sinus infections lung pneumonia even bronchitis. It's the most antimicrobial substance known to man. It's antiviral antibacterial anti fungus. It cures malaria Lyme disease meningitis just to name a few more oh I must include hpv as well. It's cured hpv 100 percent of the time. Bacteria were talking about doesn't grow resistance to it. It's so sad big pharma doesn't recognize this it's probably because there a trillion dollar corporation they don't want to lose money I guess. Everyone has the power to heal themselves. We just need to take more charge over our lives. God bless hope this helps.

  • 80% of all antibiotics are used in animal agriculture and only 20% antibiotics are used in humans. So animal agriculture is responsible for most antibiotic resistance bacteria.
    Solution is. Go vegan

  • Thanks for this presentation Dr. Klose! 6 years later and this problem is getting worse. Drug resistant bacteria kill over 700,000 people per year and this number could rise to as high as 10 million by 2050. This year (2019), the WHO listed antimicrobial resistance as one of the top 10 health threats facing the world. Here are four strategies to help combat drug resistance: 1. Vaccines – prevention is better than the cure! 2. Sanitation and Hygiene – again… prevention! 3. Eliminate the unnecessary use of antibiotics in livestock. 4. Educate doctors and the public to limit antibiotic use – too many antibiotics are improperly used to combat viral infections.

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