According to a study
cited by the CDC, at least 30% of the antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary. CDC officials along with those at agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration
have ramped up efforts to cut back on this excess of 47 million prescriptions, which is largely driven by antibiotics that are incorrectly prescribed by doctors to patients suffering from viral infections such as common colds, sinus infections, and the flu. An antibiotic drug can only tackle bacterial infections and will do nothing to alleviate illnesses that are viral.
This new push to study the role of the human microbiome and antibiotic resistance will include $560,000 toward a study by University of California at Berkeley
researchers on the role of food-borne diseases, a $2 million grant to four teams of Washington University
researchers, and funding toward a clinical trial by Synthetic Biologics
for an oral drug designed to protect the gut microbiome from the unintended effects of certain beta-lactam antibiotics.
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