Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria

October 22, 2013

FRONTLINE investigates the rise of deadly drug-resistant bacteria.

(54:11) FRONTLINE investigates the rise of deadly drug-resistant bacteria.



Can a New White House Plan Catch Up to the “Superbug” Threat?

An ambitious five-year plan aims to stem the spread of potentially deadly drug-resistant bacteria, but some critics say the effort does not go far enough.

UCLA Superbug Infection Linked to 2 Deaths; 179 Potentially Infected

Contaminated medical scopes at a UCLA medical center may have exposed up to 179 people to a potentially deadly superbug.

Obama Budget Would Double Federal Spending to Fight Superbugs

Drug-resistant bacteria infect an estimated 2 million Americans, claiming about 23,000 lives each year.

New Report Details the Economic Costs of Superbug Threat

Drug-resistant infections could cost 10 million deaths annually and up to $100 trillion by 2050, an economist projects.

Superbugs Killing Thousands of Newborns in India

A new study says 58,000 Indian infants died last year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

White House Releases Plan to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Last year, the CDC estimated that 23,000 people die annually in the U.S. and more than 2 million are sickened by resistant infections.

WHO: Drug-Resistant Bugs Have Spread to “Alarming Levels”

A drug-resistant world “is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century,” according to a new report.

Florida Bill Would Combat Superbug Threat

A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.”

CDC: Some Doctors Contribute to Superbug Spread

Misusing antibiotics is one way to create more drug-resistant bacteria. Your doctor could be part of the problem.

Illinois “Nightmare Bacteria” Outbreak Raises Alarms

The largest outbreak on record of one so-called “nightmare bacteria” is fueling alarm among public health officials about the spread of potentially lethal drug-resistant infections.

Do Hospital Workers Really Wash Their Hands?

One hospital sent around a “secret shopper” to find out.

On John Quinn

The veteran drug researcher featured in “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria” passed away last weekend.

Can the “Nightmare Bacteria” Be Stopped? – Live Chat Wed. 12 p.m. ET

Join a live chat on “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria” with producer Rick Young, correspondent David Hoffman, infectious disease expert Dr. Sean Elliot, and guest questioner Maggie Koerth-Baker from BoingBoing. You can leave a question now.

Who’s Tracking the “Nightmare Bacteria”?

It seems like a basic question: How many people get these hard to treat infections each year and where do they occur? But there’s no easy answer.

Who’s Trying to Fix the Pipeline Problem?

The problem is clear: there aren’t enough new antibiotics. The question is why aren’t more pharmaceutical companies filling the gap — and what’s being done to try to reverse this trend?

Dr. Charles Knirsch: “These Are Not Ruthless Decisions”

The Pfizer executive on why the company has shifted away from developing antibiotics.

Dr. John Rex: The Drug Pipeline Is “Very, Very Thin”

The AstraZeneca executive on the business of antibiotics, and what his company is doing to address the lack of drugs in the pipeline.

Dr. Arjun Srinivasan: We’ve Reached “The End of Antibiotics, Period”

The CDC doctor says we need to create a new model to fight drug resistance, joining public and private funding with leadership at local levels.

Ramanan Laxminarayan: The Global Reach of Resistance

The policy chief on why the U.S. lags behind other nations in the race against this worldwide problem.

Dr. Brad Spellberg: Antibiotic Resistance Is “Everyone’s Fault”

The infectious disease expert says antibiotics have made us complacent about this threat.

Read More About the “Nightmare Bacteria”

Further resources on the superbug problem, and what we are — or aren’t — doing to stop it.

Additional funding for Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria is provided by The Kendeda Fund.


1:24:12Growing Up Trans06/30/2015
54:11Being Mortal02/10/2015
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