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We Need More than New Antibiotics to Fight Resistance

November 01, 2019 / NEIL S. GREENSPAN, ARTURO CASADEVALL

Metabolic disrupters, phages, and other approaches are going to be needed to treat the broadest possible range of patients infected by bacterial pathogens resistant to multiple drugs. In the summer of 1924, Calvin Jr., President Coolidge’s youngest son, developed a blister in his third right toe while playing tennis at the White House court. The blister became infected with Staphylococcus aureus (staph), and he died a week later at just 16 years old. Two decades later, penicillin could have saved him, but this drug is now useless against staph because of drug resistance, which has now become a broader crisis in medicine.