Antibacterial Agents May Cause Drug Resistance

Bacteria, including E. coli, can develop resistance to household antibacterial compounds such as triclosan, a biocide commonly added to soap, toothpaste and other products. The finding raises concern that widespread use of these chemicals could give rise to dangerous drug-resistant organisms. Scientists have traditionally discounted the possibility of such a threat, believing instead that household 'biocides' kill germs in so many different ways that no one organism could ever develop full resistance.

Nature 1998;394:531-532.

COMMENT: These bacteria have many tricks up the sleeve. That is why I routinely encourage people to stay away from added chemicals as they are only bound to cause problems. I would definitely avoid antibacterial soaps.

As mentioned in newsletter # 51, a dilute solution of chlorine bleach works very nicely to kill these organisms and it is very likely that the organism will become resistant to this. That would be the equivalent of a human becoming resistant to a shotgun blast to the head. The bleach totally oxidizes the cell membrane and disrupts the entire cell structure of the germs.

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