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tornpentacle t1_j8tt6dx wrote

There exist certain antibiotics that do not allow for resistance in the first place—an easy example is alcohol. This concept is not only theoretically possible, it's something that already exists.

Now, if you'll permit me to say so...there's no need to be so cynical. Not only is that sort of cynicism going to bring you down, but it's the entire reason everyone's so anxious and depressed these media amplifies negativity. If you don't have actual criticisms of the science described in this paper, it's probably best to keep the unfounded negativity to yourself.


Apprehensive_Ad1744 t1_j8uv7lg wrote

I don't think alcohol would technically be an antibiotic since it doesn't treat infections caused by bacteria, no more than it would be classified as an antiviral or antifungal. An antiseptic however, sure.


Shity_Balls t1_j8vs64j wrote

Alcohol is an antiseptic, not an antibiotic. Alcohol also does not kill all bacteria or fungi. Did you know certain bacteria actually can create an endospore in response to harsh environments like alcohol allowing them to survive sometimes up to 150 degrees Celsius and other seemingly unsurvivable environmental conditions.

Have you never used hand sanitizer and wondered why it says “kills 99.7%” of all germs?


FlipBikeTravis t1_j93r47l wrote

Doesn't it imply anti-biotic when you say it does kill some or "99.7%" of germs? Is this a distinction of another kind you are making?


Apprehensive_Ad1744 t1_j93tari wrote

> Doesn't it imply anti-biotic when you say it does kill some or "99.7%" of germs?

No. "Antibiotic" means something specific: they are drugs that fight bacterial infections. Like how penicillin can be used to treat bacterial meningitis but is useless against viral and fungal illnesses like influenza and ringworm.

Antiseptics, on the other hand, are chemicals that are used to sanitize surfaces but are useless for treating illnesses. Like how hand sanitizers kill gems on your hands due to their ethanol content, but drinking ethanol doesn't do anything to treat any type of infection.


Shity_Balls t1_j944d7j wrote

I am saying that in this context, alcohol is an antiseptic. It is not an antibiotic, a class of drugs, like is being discussed by both the paper but also the OP of this whole comment thread.

Antibiotic resistance as it was being discussed, is referring to a drug class and the process of bacteria becoming resistant to said drugs in said class.

Arguing that alcohol is an antibiotic in this context is wrong. You could argue all day that technically alcohol has antibacterial properties, thus technically making it an antibacterial agent. But that doesn’t matter because it is not classified as an antibiotic in medicine, it is an antiseptic or disinfectant.


Shity_Balls t1_j94e1gs wrote

Can’t reply to your comment or see it, so I copied it and will respond here.

>So its just a matter of classification to you, the fact I can swish it into my mouth and disrupt bacteria or even kill them is not "medicine" to you in this "context" you call medicine, isn't that an arbitrary classification potentially? I'm not arguing, by the way

None of this is arbitrary. Neither of us are classifying alcohol into our own categories. This is the agreed upon terminology in the medical field. In medicine, which is the current topic we are discussing alcohol under as it pertains to antimicrobial agents, and not in the effect is has on an individual when ingested. You can ingest it, but it has limited to no therapeutic benefits as far as antimicrobial properties are concerned past the point of swishing, which even then, is generally recommended against doing.

If you swish it and spit it or ingest it, it’s still an antiseptic. I can drink a cup of hot urine and tell myself it’s an antibiotic, that doesn’t make it an antibiotic. I’m most certain that the Colgate brand that used to use ethanol even labeled alcohol as an ‘antiseptic.’


jfecju t1_j8vdl1n wrote

Alcohol isn't really an antibiotic medication. If a doctor tried treating a staph infection with alcohol I think the patient would die before the bacteria.

I'm actually not being cynical. New classes of antibiotics is great as a stopgap, but the problem with antibiotics resistance will not be solved before the overuse and misuse stops. It's not a scientific problem, it's a legal and societal problem. Believing that it's possible to make an antibiotic medication without the risk of resistance means you won't work strategically to prevent resistance, which will render new classes of antibiotics useless within years


r2k-in-the-vortex t1_j8vlg6m wrote

Life is not infinitely adaptable. Of course there can be an broad range antibiotic that is impossible to develop resistance against no matter how much it's spread around in places where it shouldn't be. Finding such an antibiotic of course is a separate matter. Not very hard to test its performance though, bacterial colonies can climb concentration gradients or they can't.


jfecju t1_j8vn7pc wrote

Sure, life isn't infinitely adaptable. However, we need to keep the patient alive as well. Selectively killing off bacteria is the crux


Richmondez t1_j8vyrtl wrote

Not infinitely no, but then we also don't have infinite compounds we can potentially use and the constraint that it not kill a patients cells means that it must be possible for some life to adapt to survive it meaning potentially the bacteria can. I'd say in practical situations it will be impossible to develop something bacteria can't adapt to.