0
$\begingroup$

(Not sure if this should be on the medicine SE)

There've been plenty of medicines that no longer work because the target pathogen has evolved resistance, e.g. penicillin is no longer an effective antibiotic. Have there been any treatments that no longer work because the human body evolved?

I imagine since evolution is a slow process, if there is such a medicine, it would've been around since antiquity (to give evolution the most time possible to work).

$\endgroup$
3
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Pathogens evolve resistance to drugs that kill them because there is a large selective pressure - individuals with resistance genes are more likely to survive and reproduce. What would the equivalent be in the situation you describe? $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jan 25 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause e.g., gene X is added because it confers some evolutionary advantage (not necessarily related to the disease), but gene X also makes the drug no longer work. $\endgroup$ – Allure Jan 25 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ medicine in humans is way way too new compared to our generation time. Bacteria are going through billions of generations in the time it takes us to go through one. $\endgroup$ – John Jan 26 at 16:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.