Researchers who focus on the lives of bugs don’t expect to save human lives. However, this bug breakthrough has the potential to save humanity from a huge threat and it is catching the attention of preppers around the globe.

Dr. David Andes and Dr. Cameron Currie from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that their discovery about ants could lead to hundreds of new antibiotics, via WISN.

The two scientists discovered that ants are carrying around bacteria to help them fight off infection. Our existing antibiotics were made from soil bacteria. While we appear to have used all of the soil bacteria we can, bacteria from ants open up a new playing field.

In the two years since their discovery, the researchers have identified over 400 potential new antibiotics from the various strains of ant bacteria. The researchers think bacteria from other bugs could also be used.

However, that’s only the first step. Actually creating, testing, and manufacturing any new drugs will be a very long and very expensive project.

No new antibiotics have been discovered since the 1980s, so any company looking to use this research will be taking a gamble.

The need for these new drugs is pressing, however. All kinds of infections have developed resistance to antibiotics. Just this year, an elderly woman caught one such bug in India and brought it back to America.

Thankfully, the severity of her condition was recognized, and she was isolated before it spread. Unfortunately, the infection wasn’t stopped, even by our last-resort antibiotics. Doctors tried 26 different antibiotics, but the woman died, via Independent.

Millions of other Americans are infected with these “super bugs,” which are resistant to some or all of the treatment options. As a direct result of these super bugs, 23,000 Americans die per year, via CDC.

While the problem is relatively small now, soon it won’t be. Dr. Andes explained, “By 2050, more people will die from these infections than from cancer, so 10 million patients per year.”

As we preppers know, the average American often underestimates the likelihood that serious diseases and disasters will affect them. If we were to have an outbreak of an antibiotic resistant bug, our only option would be to stop its spread. Not many would have the necessary supplies to protect themselves.

Now is the time to read up on how to create isolation rooms, sanitize supplies, and prevent exposure to all kinds of infections and diseases.

Image courtesy of Georgy Iliin / 123rf