As humans, in many ways we are special. We are developing with everything working together in complex and fully functioning machine. However, this is not the fully story of evolution on earth. Bacteria are the truly special organisms, evolving very quickly, able to elegantly escape and evade the best of modern medicine. Thus evolution is not only about explaining where humans may have originated but it also a process occurring around us now that we should understand unless we are willing to lose the game to our sleeker, sexier competitors.
Indeed, the era of antibiotics is coming to an end, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria that humans designed to knock out. Once, scientists hailed the end of infectious diseases but the old ones are coming and even more new ones are on the way.
At least 30 new diseases have emerged in the past two decades, for many of which there is no treatment, cure or vaccine, or the possibility of effective prevention or control. In addition, the uncontrolled and inappropriate use of antibiotics has resulted in increased antimicrobial resistance and is seriously threatening drug control strategies against such common diseases as tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, dysentery and pneumonia. Many more that is spreading to new geographical areas, because of changing habits, lifestyle, behavior (including injecting and non-injecting drug use) and cultural or social values. Travel, including tourism, global mobility, pressures on water resources, climate change, intensive land-use, agriculture, farming and animal production, also play a role. The practices of modern medicine also contribute. New animal diseases pose potential food-borne risks to human health that are sometimes difficult to evaluate or predict. All of which have developed anti-microbial resistance. The most dramatic example of a new disease is AIDS, deadly haemorrhagic fevers and Ebola. Epidemics of food-borne and water-borne diseases due to new organisms such as cryptosporidium or new strains of bacteria do exist. New strains such as those of cholera and influenza do not follow the usual pattern of being more common in younger people. They affect all age groups, since older people have not acquired immunity to them from previous infection. These are trends taking place in many places around the world.
Despite the emergence of new diseases, there is still a lack of national and international political will and resources to develop and support the systems that are necessary to detect them and stop their spread. The next few years are certain to be critical for the future of antimicrobial drugs. Antimicrobial resistance will increase if present trends continue.
In addition to the eco-systemic impact of industrial agriculture and global circuits of capital, our highly mobile society and the consequent climate disruption from fossil-fueled globalization have worked to propel the spread of invasive species, diseases, and pathogens: