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Pestilence Disinfection

crowd out superbugs.
  [vote for,

Hospitals can suffer from the growth, thence distribution, of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria: "superbugs". These are varieties of bacteria etc. that have genetically learned to cope with certain classes of disinfectants, and supplant their more easily killed-off brethren.

Disinfectant simply removes the superbugs' competition.

The idea then is to close off a ward when a superbug is detected and flood it with yummy bacteria food. The superbug would then be crowded out. After awhile the ward is disinfected in the normal fashion and operations resume.

FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2014



       It's mainly antibiotics, rather than disinfectants, that are the problem. You can kill all bacteria with fairly routine disinfectants.   

       Another problem is that bacteria don't really crowd eachother out in most situations. They will compete for nutrients (rarely for space), but when these run out many bugs will just lie dormant for weeks, months or years.   

       Put it another way - if a bacterial population carries a resistance plasmid, and you remove the selective pressure, most individuals will lose the plasmid over time. However, it's very rare for _all_ individuals to lose it, and it will generally re- emerge as soon as you reapply the antibiotic.   

       The main reservoirs of bacteria in hospitals tend to be patients and doctors, but these could of course be autoclaved.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 07 2014

       Well, the premise of the idea was the baseless assumption that resistant bacteria would be weaker in some other manner than non, so the non-resistant would crowd it out if the antibiotics were removed and food sources added.
FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2014

       Of course I've little clue as to what the difference between disinfection and antibiotician is.
FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2014

       Ah - OK. Well, as an idea based on no information it's excellent.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 07 2014

blissmiss, Jun 07 2014


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