Will common medical procedures become too dangerous as superbugs learn to resist antibiotics? Is UKIP really about to be Britain's 3rd party?
Browse content similar to 30/11/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Tonight, imagine a world in which diseases you thought were curable
suddenly cannot be cured, treatable infections become untreatable, and
cancer therapy and surgery leads to new dangers.
That is the medical nightmare of a new breed of superbug, resistant to
antibiotics, and threatening to overturn some of the best hopes of
modern medicine. 21st century medicine, the hip replacements and
cancer chemotherapy, they won't be possible, because patients will be
succumbing to infxs that were treatable. We will hear whether our
doctors need to cut down drastically on the prescription of
antibiotics. Labour holds on to three parliamentary seats, and UKIP
does well, and claims to be the nation's third party. Is any of
that credible. From the celebrations last night,
you would think coming second of the new coming first. But remember,
UKIP haven't yet got one MP. We will ask if they are really
keeping David Cameron awake at Good evening. Some of the miracles
of modern medicine are in danger. We come to take for granted
treatments for cancer and hip replacements, the stuff of dreams a
few decades ago. Many of these advances depend on antibiotic,
which have been used to fight infection since the 1940s. Many of
them are losing their effectiveness. At a rate that is both alarming and
irreversible. -- irreversible. That is from Britain's Chief Medical
Officer. We have talked to the teams at the frontline in the fight
against drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs. And just as scientists
thought they were gaining the upper hand, a new threat is emerging, and
this next wave could be what the Chief Medical Officer describes as
one of the greatest threats to modern health.
At the frontline, in the battle between man and miebcob, each new
anti--- microbe, each new anti- biotic we create has an army of
resistance. Antibiotics underpins all areas of 21st century medicine.
If we allow them to proliferate, we undermine all those advances.
Bacteria that constantly evolve are evading our best weapons. One year
your house is a mile away from the cliff age, with coastal erosion,
come back ten years later, and the cliff edge is only 100 yards away.
That is the position we are now in with antibiotic resistance.
arrival of antibiotics in the 1940s, revolutionised healthcare, until
bacteria began to fight back. Now, doctors and scientists are warning
that ever-evolving, resistant strains, are putting modern
medicine at risk. For antibiotic- resistant organisms you might have
heard of, like MRSA, doctors and scientists have been making
headation, there is a new group of bacteria gaining ground now. It is
a fresh challenge, and there is a lot at stake. Nick Brown has to
deal with the reality of resistant bacteria every day on the hospital
ward. Often it is as simple as keeping patients apart. Hospitals
are continuously bombarded by the introduction of antibiotic
resistant bacteria from patients transferred from other hospitals
and overseas, therefore, we have to take precautions to segregate the
patients from others, and take infection control precautions to
prevent the organisms spreading. At her Birmingham lab,
microbiologists, Laura Piddock, is trying to understand resistance, to
see if there might be better ways to counter it. She says bacteria
become resistant in a process that is a form of revolution, where the
fittest bacteria survive. The ones that can withstand antibiotics, and
the more we use antibiotics, the more we unwittingly encourage those
resistant bacteria to thrive. So what is it about these bacteria,
that makes them resistant? We can boil it down really into two wave,
first of all, they can share small pieces of DNA and transfer in
bacteria population. That might allow them to produce an enzyme to
chew up the drug. The bacteria has the genetic material to overcome
the drug, and produces the mechanism of resistance. There are
two main groups of bacteria called ground-positive and ground-negative.
It is the second group causing concern to microbiologists. Ground-
negative bacteria have a double- cell ball w biological pump
inbetween. In ground-negative bacteria here, this is the joud
site of the cell and this is the inside. They have these two
barriers, which ground-positive bacteria doesn't have. They are
very clever, they have a three-part system that works like a vacuum
cleaner. Any drug that gets in, immediately just pumps it straight
out. This built-in pump means ground-negative bacteria can spit
out our best antibiotics, making it harder to design one that will
destroy them. There are six resistant bacteria that worry
microbiologists most. Two are ground-positive, all of the rest
are ground-negative. The one that is demanding attention right now is
Klebsiella. Klebsiella is seen in renal infections. It has resisted
antibiotics and we have had to return to the reserves, carbopenins,
2% of Klebsiella are resistant to carbopenin antibiotics, it has shot
up in parts of Europe and the US. You only have to go to southern
Europe to see what can happen. As early as 2008, there were problems
in Greece. 40% of Klebsiella resistant to cabopenin. Watch Italy
n2008 it is between 1-5%, no worse than our present problems. But come
forward to 2010, and already Italy is up to 17%. And come now to the
most recent data, Italy is now up to 30%. It is vital that we in the
UK avoid going down this trajectory. If we lose cabopenins, against
bacteria like Klebsiella, we are forced to use what are really
rather poor, toxic, not very God antibiotics, we are down to the
bottom of the barrel. It is a potentially lethal
infection that is resistant to treatment...$$NEWLINE It is the
most vulnerable patients who are at risk. MRSA, for example, the drug-
resistant ground-positive bacteria, is harmless to the many healthy
people who carry it, but not the weak. When it was found in the
special care baby unit at Addenbrooks last year, the hospital
turned to the latest in genetic technology for help. A few miles
from the hospital, in the Cambridgeshire countryside, is the
world-famous Sanger institute. started 15 years ago, references
bacteria. Scientists here helped decode our DNA blueprint, in the
human genome project. Now they are using a similar approach to
identify and track the most threatening of bacteria. Two things
may be going on in the hospital, the strains may be brought in
independently or transmission in the hospital. Current typing
techniques find it difficult to differentiate strains at high level.
The genome sequencing we are trying to use here, allow very fine
discrimination of strains. This approach will work with any
bacterium, we have shown it working with MRSA, it will almost certainly
allow the hospital to differentiate outbreaks of Klebsiella from
independent introductions of Klebsiella, and knowing there has
been an outbreak and transmission is key to any intervention to
prevent transmission. How important might these new
sequencing technologies be where it really matters? There is potential
for the new gene sequencing technologies to enable us to better
understand the epidemiology of the spread of ground-negative
antibiotic resistance. Therefore, we would be able to target our
isolation facilities, and the infection control precaution that
is we use to prevent further spread within the hospital environment.
But, it will be years before we can contain every outbreak quickly. So
the warning now is that we must stop resistant strains reaching
patients in the first place, to avoid the unthinkable.
For -- For those who get an infection by a ground-negative
bacterium, it will be increasingly difficult to treat it. We will see
the day where we have untreatable infections. In some wards in the UK
it has already happened F we don't sort out, these wonderful medical
advances we take for granted, the hip replacements and cancer chemo
therapy, they won't be possible, because patients will succumb to
infections that were previously treatable. Unusually, Professor
Piddock and other specialists like her, are campaigning to persuade
Governments and industry to do more to preserve current antibiotics and
find new ones. Their concern that we overuse these drugs, most
recently, by buying them via the Internet.
It is not like other types of medicine. If I have a headache, I
would take a tablet for my headache. If I take an antibiotic, all of the
bacteria in my body are exposed to that antibiotics, I would be
selecting drug-resistant strains and sharing them. I may not need an
antibiotic. We are saying use them sparingly and preserve their use
for as long as possible until we get new drugs.
Bacteria breed quickly and in situation that can surprise the
experts. No-one can say for sure what the next big resistant threat
will be. Only that there will be more. And that we may not always be
confident that our antibiotics will work.
Professor Alan Johnson is a consultant clinical scientist at
the Health Protection Agency in England and an expert in resistant
antibiotics. How serious is this? We have a large number of bacteria
can cause infections and a range of antibiotics. The extent of the
problem depends on which range of those you are looking at. At one
end of the spectrum we have some strains of bacteria causing
infections that are becoming virtually untreatable already, at
the other end of the spectrum we have some strains of bacteria that
cause infections that remain readily treatable. We have some
time, but there are lots of parts to the puzzle. How important is it
for doctors to say to us as patients, you really don't need
antibiotic, I won't give them to you, even though hur whinge ago
bit? The key issue in the report, is cannotitybiotics are unlike
other drugs used in medicine, the more you use them, the less
effective they become. The key part of the strategy at the moment,
because of the lack of new drugs in development, is to make sure that
the drugs we currently have, and are active at the moment, remain so
for the future. And doctors play a part in that? In order to do this
we need to cut back on unnecessary and inappropriate prescribing.
speaking as a patients, must of us think these are wonder drugs, we
think they cure a lot of things. My demand to a doctor would be please
give it to me? We know that is one of the problems, there is good
evidence from studies that doctors, unfortunately, do prescribe
inappropriately, because of the pressure put on them by patients,
who have a high expectation of getting a drug. One of the key
things at the moment is attempts to try to educate patients. That
antibiotics are not harmless, as we thought. If you take an antibiotic
unnecessarily, you get what we know as collateral damage, you end up
possibly colonising superbugs. Educating doctors about that.
Indeed. You can get them on the internet, before I came in, I
checked, it is easy to get a whole range of antibiotics? That is an
appalling development. It goes totally counter to global efforts
to optimise and reduce prescribing as much as possible. If they are
made freely. Another thing to be aware of, what you buy over the
Internet is sometimes counter fit drugs. You are not only use theing
the drugs inappropriately d counterfeit drugs, you are not only
using the drugs inappropriately. They will tend to promote
resistance if the does aj isn't what you think -- does aj isn't
what you think it is. -- dosage isn't what you think it is.
The message isn't getting through? There are initiatives to redress
this. In terms of doctors' education, because of the advances
in modern medicine, if you are a trainee doctor, the sheer amount of
knowledge that you have to accumulate during your training is
vast. There is a problem that at the moment, in terms of the medical
curriculum, the amount of time that trainee doctors have lectures on
infection, let alone the use of antibiotics, it is a tiny part of
the medical curriculum, and colleagues, I know who are
interested in education, say that has to change, there needs to be
more much focus on how to use antibiotics properly.
Thank you very much. Now, there is nothing unusual about
Governments taking a beating in by- elections half way through a
parliament, nor is there anything unusual about an opposition holding
three safe seats, as Labour did yesterday. But, the UK Independence
Party say recent elections amounts to sea change in British politics.
UKIP, they claim, and not the Liberal Democrats, are the third
party. They claim to be going on in future elections to possibly
reshape things. We report on whether any of this is
justifiable or political dreaming. The morning after the night before
in Rotherham, sees normal life continue apace, and it is business
as usual in affairs of state too. The local Labour Party retained the
constituency last night in a by- election, comfortably, but beneath
the surface, basking in winter sun, quite some disturbance was caused.
Last night it wasn't the winning that counted, but the coming second
that seemed to matter. In the European elections, in cities like
Hull, we came first, in the local elections last year in Sheffield,
we got more votes than the Conservatives. We have just
performed creditably well in the Police Commissioner elections. The
general election, two-and-a-half years ago, UKIP scored 3% of the
vote, the last opinion poll put us on 11% nationally you are looking
at a very different party, and a confident party.
Add to that, last night's positions, in Rotherham UKIP secured 21.79% of
the vote. Its highest showing in a Westminster by-election, elsewhere,
in the two other by-elections of Middlesborough and Croydon t came
in second and third respectively. This triplicate of positions for a
party, once teased by the Prime Minister, appeared sweeter than
winning. For the celebrations last night by UKIP, you would think that
coming second in a by-election is the new coming first. Remember,
UKIP doesn't yet have its own MP at Westminster. That goes to the heart
of the strategic questions being asked, if not by the party itself,
then being asked about the party. Why are they not digging deep in
one constituency, trying to get the MP, instead of the mini-explosions
they are letting go off around the country. I think they are not
inclined to go for the MP, why should they bother, a -- as it
stands they are scrambling the signal of UK politics. At the
beginning of this year they started to overtake the Liberal Democrats
as the third part. The Liberal Democrats have done well as a
protest vote sometimes. Now they are in Government they are not the
natural receiving of protest votes, and that is what we have seen in
Rotherham. Does it mean they are wiped out because they came eighth?
No, but it does show they are squeezed. What drove up UKIP's vote,
two issues repelled loyalists from Labour. Who did you vote for?
Why? Because what is on the Labour council, old-time Labour voter,
disillusioned with them. Denis MacShane with the scam he pulled on
everybody, and also with, what I heard about the foster carers.
That one-time Labour loyalist confirmed UKIP is not just a
problem for the Conservative Party. A larger proportion of UKIP
supporters in 2010 would go Tory, but there are Labour-inclined
voters too. If you drill into UKIP's numbers, there is something
else going on. When we look back at the data of people who say they
support UKIP, what is interesting about them, is yes, they are
interested in Europe, they are as interested in immigration and race.
Where as one person in five in Britain says that immigration is
the key issue, problem, facing the country, amongst UKIP voters, in
our recent analysis, the figure is 49%. We have stumbled across the
well named new Labour MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion, she will
probably keep the seat at the next election, this place a Labour
stronghold. But, as we have seen this morning, she and her party
will have a lot to do on immigration.
According to the office of national statistics, last year, Rotherham
was home to 237,000 British inhabitants, and 15,000 non-British.
These figures are clearly blunt, and may not reflect the actual
community. But on the ground, there did appear to be some of the anti-
immigrant feeling driving UKIP's surge, diagnosed by the pollsters.
We had been at Eastwood, two life- long Labour loyalists, took us to a
car park, where they say the children of eastern European
immigrants gather nightly and Iraqously, our pair had organised
to resist them -- racausly, our pair had organised to resist them.
Do you equate how upset you are in your community and the by-election?
A lot of people have decided to vote for someone else definitely.
You were a Labour voter? Yes. it a difficult decision? Yes, I
have voted for somebody else this time, definitely. I didn't vote
UKIP, I stuck to being a Labour voter. But I think the voters of
Rotherham have sent a message in the result that came through. Help
us out, do something for us. You know, let's help each other to
improve the area. They discuss how they vote with their friends Saber,
the secretary of the local mosque. Why didn't you go for UKIP? If it
was the same MP I wouldn't have voted, I would have gone for UKIP.
Would you have voted UKIP? possibly would have, because their
policy applies to myself as well, therefore, I have to be careful
when I'm voting. Anecdotes on the ground aside, it
was Labour that did well yesterday. The two parties in Government are
spinning last night's result as mid-term blues, more blue than
usual in the chill weather of November. But all minds in
Government are turned to next Wednesday's big economic statement
of intent. In the knowledge that, at root, the prospect of a triple-
dip recession, caused last night's triple-boost for UKIP. With me is
the editor of the Spectator, and Steve Richards from the Independent.
We hear from Jeremy Batten an MP for London from UKIP. Well done for
not winning anything, 70 piers of the people didn't vote, you are not
the third force in British politics? We have been doing this
for 20 years now. It has been a slow progress, because we are up
against the first pass the post electoral system, that is very
difficult to breakthrough in. We have 100 years of entrenched
tribunal voting we are trying to make -- tribal voting we are trying
to break down. You did well in 2009, European elections, came second,
2010, no Westminster seats. Which Westminster seat are you within a
sniff of winning? We would give away our strategy if I tell you
that. We will fight as many seat as we K we are look to go do the whole
of the 645 we will be targeting seats as well. Deciding which ones
to put the most effort into. many will you win? I can't make
those kind of predictions, I don't know. I have never underrated how
difficult it is. The reason we are doing so well, is because we have a
flavour of that from your intervoos, is because we actually rep --
interviews, is because we represent the centre of British opinion. The
old parties don't actually appeal to what the ordinary voters want.
They were talking pretty much about local issues, the kids causing a
row, talking about what is going on in Rotherham council, and a
disgraced local MP. Not the kinds of things that are your policies?
Some maeings the Government -- so many of the things the Government
wants to do they can't, because our laws are made in the European Union.
Controlling immigration, we can't control it, because the EU sets the
laws. Is there any chance of you forming an electoral pact with the
Conservative Party, or even undermining them, given that,
actually, even if everybody voted UKIP last time, it wouldn't have
helped them a great deal? It is the myth that we only take Conservative
votes. We have always taken Labour votes, if you look at the figures
back 20 years, to 1994, the first elections we took part in, we do as
well in Labour as Conservative seats. Would you do pact with the
Tories, given the current leadership, you know what David
Cameron said about you four years ago, "fruitcakes and loonies"?
got endorsed by Peter Mandelson last year -- week. I wouldn't say
endorsement. What about a pact? don't know what the pact is. If the
Tories want that they can announce it. It would kill you off? They
could announce the policy that they have decided to withdraw from the
European Union. I don't see what the pact is supposed to deliver for
us or them. We fight because we know, clear and simply, what we
believe in and what we want. If they want to try to undermine us,
all they have to do is say they will withdraw from the EU or offer
a referendum. How big a problems is UKIP for David Cameron, or is the
problem an historical problem for the Conservative Party about
Europe? The problem is a third of the public only want to stay in
Europe now. There is no issue in British politics where there is a
bigger gulf between the public opinion and the mainstream
Westminster opinion. What UKIP will do, by consistently getting 10% of
the vote, it will remind the parties they are out of line.
much more than that? It is still more than the Liberal Democrats.
Isn't that the big story, the Lib Dems are nowhere, what is happening
to them is exactly what happens to parties in coalitions from Ireland
through to Germany. The smaller parties lose out. No question. One
of the things by-elections do is fuel a sense of doubt and security
within a party. The specific events, the specific seats, soon fade. But
that kind of fear of potential electoral oblivion, will shape, to
some extent, the way they calculate and think. They seem robust in this
election. Even after coming eighth. But coming eighth will be traumatic,
especially to MPs who are worried about keeping their seats at the
next election. It will play a part in the thinking over the next few
months and years. Talking about the thinking, the big story this week
presumably will be the Autumn Statement and what the Chancellor
will do, for all of us. It looks a pretty grim 2013. Yes, and 2014, 15,
16. They will come out with a forecast. The fact is there is not
much growth in the economy now. Nor is three predicted to be. What
George Osborne hoped to be a recovery in time for the next
election, will be belt-tightening and austerity for the foreseeable
future. He will have to come to terms with the fact that telling
the public that, after having served them cuts in the last
election but there will be in the next election too. That won't go
down well. It is not a great vote- winner. The one thing he can do is
say Labour's best hope is to talk down the economy, that nothing
turns up? I don't think that is a very effective argument when people
are feeling down about the economy. They will feel more down after
Wednesday? What he will do, he has already said it, he wrote an
article about following lessons from the Obama campaign, he will
try to blame what has happened, again, on the Labour Government.
And the recent past. Rather than his attempts to address the
situation. So far, that has had some impact on Labour's ability to
get its message across, it hasn't helped him at all electorally, or,
as we were talking about earlier, the Lib Dems who pursue the same
message, that it isn't their fault. What women see this week is
incredibly important, in terms of the dynamics of the Government and
the future of the parliament T won't change the debate, it is
already framed. It will be bleak, they were argue it is worth it, and
make it far bleaker than it need be, we are already at that point.
terms of options, tax rises, more austerity, and more cuts, the
deepest cuts haven't happened? There is another option he could
take, which he won't, I suspect, is to come up with a radical pro--
growth package. What he has done is not enough, cuts are not enough,
austerity not enough to get the economy moving. We have seen other
countries abroad do deficit finance tax cuts. Swede just did a major
one in the last budget. That is new thinking and it is working. I don't
think politically the Conservatives are there yet. I think they believe
they are stuck in a groove of relatively bleak economic activity.
The only question is, who gets the blame for this, and they are hoping
that Labour still hasn't got the credibility to blame the
Conservatives probably. That is the battle, that is what most people
talk about, and just saying get out of Europe would solve everything
isn't playing? More and more people are realising that you can't
actually address the problems inside the European Union. Look at
the countries outside the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Canada,
Austrailia they all have higher living standards. So has Germany.
That is held back by the European Union. If we left the European
Union we would get our own destiny back, we could be a more prosperous
country, a freer country, we could control the big issues people care
about. Our message is going home to people f you want to address those
issues, there is no point in voting for the old parties. If I may say,
the Lib Dems are now becoming irrelevant in that they are no
longer the party of protest. much like the politics of the 70s,
economic gloom in or out. Close decisions. If we made the right
decision in 1975 we wouldn't have these problems.
On I'm joined by Bennett Miller, Hadley Freeman and Christina
Patterson, for the latest baseball film, this one starring Amy Adams
and Clint Eastwood. Valentino sweeps in with show-stopping frocks.
Spike Lee has made a film pulling Michael Jackson back up on to a
president das tell as a musical genius. And a grandfather who
modelled his granddaughter's clothes, that is love.
There is flash photography coming up, leaving you with Freddie
Will common medical procedures become too dangerous as superbugs learn to resist antibiotics? Is UKIP really about to be Britain's 3rd party?