Streptococcus crisis: it’s about more than antibiotics

Whenever we see images of hungry, starving children (and they’re all over the news right now), our first reaction is “what a waste of human capital!” Somewhere in that crowd is a future Einstein, Marie Curie, or JS Bach. Whose potential will never be available to the rest of us. Their life has been ruined by the starvation and violence all around them. Contrary to the assertions of certain right-wing news outlets, the effects of poverty are well documented.[1] They show up in things like learning, fine motor control, growth, social skills, and health. Which brings us back to yesterday’s blog, and a reader’s response to it.

In the blog (LSS 5 Dec 22),we stated that the streptococcus A crisis in the UK was yet another reason to speed development of new antibiotics. But as regular reader Gaynor Lynch pointed out, this is essentially a reactive response to the crisis. It ignored the causal factors. In particular, Gaynor stated

Prevention is much better than cure“…..adding that  “good nutrition is essential to support the immune system.”

And how right she was we found when we did a little digging. There seems to be a clear and unequivocal link between childhood deprivation and sub-development of the immune system. The literature is rather vast, but this link to the HuffPost gives a good, journalistic level jumping off point [2] For those who like their details detailed, we include a review study from Plos One, but be warned-it’ll take more than one cup of strong black coffee to get through this one.

You can read all of Gaynor’s thoughts in the comments section to yesterday’s blog. But we couldn’t help thinking: it’s going to take years and lots of money to develop a new generation of antibiotics. In the meantime, how about a little spend on food for hungry children? It could be a long-term investment.

[1] https://www.childfund.org.au/stories/how-does-poverty-impact-child-development/

[2] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/4-ways-that-poor-childhood-nourishment-can-affect-lifelong-health_n_587d0102e4b09281d0ebcc52

[3] https://www.bing.com/search?q=effects+poor+nutrition+children+immune+system&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=effects+poor+nutrition+children+immune+system&sc=

#childood health #antibiotics #poverty #deprivation #preventive medicine

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