Superbugs, born of antibiotic resistance, are a growing global health crisis. Award-winning educator and researcher at Boston University Muhammad Zaman, Ph.D. tells the story about how we got here and what we must do to combat this threat that connects us all.
While Mr. Zaman, a professor of biomedical engineering and international health at Boston University, covers some of the same ground that Paul de Kruif did in his lapidary Microbe Hunters (1926), de Kruif was hagiographic, and Mr. Zaman often points to feet of clay ... Even so, more than a few of Mr. Zaman’s portraits are admiring ... Antibiotic resistance is a global problem—a disease present in Karachi one day may arrive in Reno, Nev., the next—yet the same connectivity that has spread resistance has eased collaboration across borders. Mr. Zaman’s optimism...is welcome, though not always easy to share. Still, his sense of urgency is irresistible.
Zaman, an award-winning professor of biomedical engineering and international health and a New York Times columnist, dramatically recounts the history of microbial research ... Passionate about the science, the social implications, and the complex personalities of the scientists he so sharply portrays, Zaman reveals how the antibiotic saga of human ingenuity and greed is pegged to military conflicts, from WWI forward ... Like those about global warming, warnings about the risk of antibiotic resistance and superbugs have been issued for decades with little action taken. Now the evidence, so vividly presented here, is overwhelming, and Zaman urges us to speak up.
A vivid portrayal of our fight against an opponent that has been around for more than 3 billion years ... These vignettes follow chapters that capture the history of bacteriology and the scientists working to fight bacterial resistance, highlighting the usual suspects—and not sparing the moral shortcomings of some. So what next? Despite continued antibiotic resistance and few drugs in the pipeline, Zaman is optimistic, citing new interest in phage therapy and experimental research funded by private foundations and other ventures ... A compelling call to action demanding that governments and scientists rise to the challenge.