tryggvi at email.msn.com
Tue Apr 13 13:18:14 EST 1999
We know that bacteria adapt to resist antibiotics. Do they adapt to
resist the body's defenses?
Chlamydia pneumoniae (CPN) can develop a resistance to one
frequently-prescribed antibiotic in 24 hours sufficient to require a
doubling of the MIC (which I take to be a measure of the strength of the
antibiotic in the solution in which the test is conducted). It seems
incredible to suppose that the microbe would not, during the course of the
typical 40-year war between CPN and the immune system, go through numerous
If the organism has to go through a large number of adaptations,
then some time would be required--maybe forty years--to arrive at the
terminal state where ones lungs, heart, arteries, brain, sinuses, eyes, and
joints are all shot to hell. If I'm right, then a person who kills off all
of the CPN organisms in his body and is reinfected the next day by a
different strain may still have several good years before the new strain
begins to approach the finely-tuned nastiness of the old one.
I have a personal interest in this problem. I was a textbook case of
late-stage CPN infection (if there was a textbook). A couple of months ago I
took a thirty day course of clarithromycin and I have had an amazing
improvement in my health. By now, however, I have almost certainly been
reinfected because I have very little resistance to the organism and it is
everywhere. There are millions of people in this country coughing and
spitting and wiping CPN-laden snot from their noses.
Will I have to take another course of ____thromycin in a few
months? A few years?
I would very much like to have pointers to studies of the
adaptations microbes make to their hosts. At this point I don't even know
enough of the terminology to frame a good PubMed search. Thanks for your
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