Antibiotics are a great class of drugs used to treat a variety of infections.1 However, the bacterial life cycle is much shorter than a human life cycle, and can mutate quickly to develop mutations to evade antibiotics. This is a growing problem worldwide, as there is a finite amount of antibiotics available for use, and the bacteria are getting smarter and smarter by the hour.
Check out this video from the United States Food and Drug Administration about antimicrobial resistance:
As a future Doctor of Pharmacy, I am taught to try to maximize the drug that covers the bare minimum bacteria needed to treat the infection for a patient out of concern for resistance. According to the CDC’s 2019 Antibiotic Resistance Threats report, there are over 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections and over 35,000 deaths annually. 2
With the growing threat of super-resistant bacteria, scientists are resorting to different forms of therapies for infections. One physician, Ronald Sherman, an infectious diseases physician, paved the way for using maggot therapy in modern medicine. Essentially, these larvae only eat dead tissue, effectively eliminating potential infections. He researched the use of maggots in various wars (including the Napoleonic Wars, American Civil Wars, and the World War I) and successfully applied those theories in modern-day medicine.
Dr. Sherman laid the foundation for modern medicine normalizing the use of maggots. It is now a whole industry - BioMonde is a leading maggot-production facility in Wales. They have mastered the art of maggot therapy, as they ship out patient-specific maggots in insulated containers throughout the United Kingdom.
Various teams across the UK are also researching various medieval techniques, as there can be some legitimacy in these historic practices. As our world is riddled with novel bacteria and fungi with novel mutations, it may be time to go back in time and look to nature for healing.