APR 16, 2017 3:12 PM PDT

Could Antimicrobial Resistance end Medicine as we Know it?

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Antimicrobial resistance is not only a growing health threat, it's already a huge problem; it just doesn't get much attention. This talk from the Royal Institution discusses antimicrobial resistance in our current world and what it might become in the future. The statistics are incredible; it is now one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and it could effect future generations in a major way if we don't take action.

Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom presents this talk, which highlights some of the critical applications of antibiotics; they don't only treat common illnesses, they are also used after surgeries or childbirth for example. She has also had firsthand experience with infections that were resistant to typical treatments, and has seen how the incidence of it has risen over time. She shows a recent study in which microbes were actually captured as they gained resistance to antibiotics over time, and explains that not only is drug overuse part of the problem, there is also a lack of interest in developing new drugs.

There is also time (in the presentation) to discuss the realities; people that lack access to antibiotics are still suffering and dying, and there are many parts of the works that need better health and hygiene before starting to worry about antimicrobial resistance. Steps are also being taken to curtail the problem; countries have pledged to reduce the misuse of antibiotics among other things. While this is a problem that could grow, we have the tools to make a better future.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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