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Natalie Ma knows a lot about antibiotics. She’s familiar with the consequences of antibiotic resistance and the side effects of these essential drugs from her work at Felix Biotechnology, the biotherapeutics company she co-founded. So it was particularly daunting when what she thought was a run-of-the-mill urinary tract infection wasn’t abated by the standard antibiotics.

She ultimately endured a yearlong series of antibiotic treatments that left her with long-term side effects. Ma joins the “First Opinion Podcast” this week to talk about her experience, the reality of antibiotic side effects and bacterial resistance to these drugs, and how researchers are searching for new antibacterial treatments that are effective and safe.

“If I get sick again, if I get another infection, is there a treatment option for me?” Ma asked.

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The conversation stems from her First Opinion essay, “My company is developing new antibiotics. My resistant infection showed me we need them now.” To hear more about antibiotic resistance, you can listen to an earlier episode of the “First Opinion Podcast” with researchers David Hyun and Rachel Zetts on the far-reaching effects of these “superbugs.”

Be sure to sign up for the weekly “First Opinion Podcast” on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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And if you have any feedback for us — First Opinion authors to feature on the podcast, vocal mannerisms the host needs to jettison, kudos or darts — email us at [email protected] and please put “podcast” in the subject line.

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