PublishedScribe Publications, June 2019
FormatSoftcover, 288 pages
A New York Times bestselling author shares this exhilarating story of cutting-edge science and the race against the clock to find new treatments in the fight against the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.
Physician, researcher, and ethics professor Matt McCarthy is on the front lines of a groundbreaking clinical trial testing a new antibiotic to fight lethal superbugs, bacteria that have built up resistance to the life-saving drugs in our rapidly dwindling arsenal. This trial serves as the backdrop for the compulsively readable Superbugs, and the results will impact nothing less than the future of humanity.
Dr. McCarthy explores the history of bacteria and antibiotics, from Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin, to obscure sources of innovative new medicines (often found in soil samples), to the cutting-edge DNA manipulation known as CRISPR, bringing to light how we arrived at this juncture of both incredible breakthrough and extreme vulnerability. We also meet the patients whose lives are hanging in the balance, from Remy, a teenager with a dangerous and rare infection, to Donny, a retired New York City firefighter with a compromised immune system, and many more.
The proverbial ticking clock will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Can Dr. McCarthy save the lives of his patients infected with the deadly bacteria, who have otherwise lost all hope?
'There might not be another author who so fluidly combines a world-class doctor and researcher's knowledge and experience with a memoirist's sensibility. Matt McCarthy is Siddhartha Mukherjee and David Sedaris rolled into one. Who else but McCarthy could write a dispatch from the front lines of the secret fight for the future of the human race that is not just gripping and illuminating, but also poignant and funny?'
-Ben Reiter, New York Times bestselling author of Astroball
'Written from the front lines in the battle against resistant microbes, Superbugs will educate and inspire all those concerned about the growing threat to individuals and society. McCarthy offers a fast paced, vivid narrative that grips the reader from the opening pages and never lets go.'
-Jerome Groopman MD, co-author of Your Medical Mind
'Superbugs is a riveting look into the world of bacteria and antibiotics. Dr. Matt McCarthy offers a compulsively readable tour through infectious disease. With his characteristic humour and warmth, Dr. McCarthy humanises a fascinating and timely topic that has resonance for us all. In a voice that is thoughtful and honest, punctuated by sharp wit, he reveals the drugs and dilemmas that will impact humanity for years to come. This is a rare and important book.'
-Daniela Lamas, author of You Can Stop Humming Now
'The rise of the superbug has transformed each working hour into a battle to outwit the treatment-resistant bacteria that threaten patients' lives ... In McCarthy's new book, he explains through the stories of his patients what antibiotic resistance means to every one of us.'
-Simon Crompton, The Times
'Dr. Matt McCarthy ... writes about the 'microscopic miracles' that lie beneath the soil.'
-Sarah Berry, Sydney Morning Herald