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How Antibiotic Use Led To "Superbugs"


Mummies and tetracycline.  Not a combination you hear much about, but mummified bodies from the ancient world show traces of tetracycline. 

So we've had antibiotics for a very long time, just without knowing what they were or what they did.  The trouble came with the constant use of antibiotics once we understood them; now we have bacteria that have developed immunity to antibiotics. 

These are the Superbugsof the title of Dr. Matt McCarthy's book.  He is a physician and teacher and part of a trial to develop a new antibiotic that offers hope of getting past the obstacles of the superbugs.  We pick his brain about the history, misuse, and future of antibiotics. 

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.