How can we prepare against antibiotic resistant diseases in the future?
What do we do when antibiotics don’t work? Since the discovery of Penicillin antibiotics have come to underpin all of modern medicine – birth by Cesarean section, hip replacements, organ transplantation, caring for wounds on diabetic patients. None of this would be possible without effective antibiotics.
But the medicines we depend are under threat. Decades of overuse has allowed the bacteria that makes us ill to evolve to resist treatment - and this resistance is spreading. In the very near future we may find ourselves living in a world where a simple scratch could have devastating consequences.
Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley visit a hospital to learn which disease control protocols we should be using in our daily lives and uncover why the food we eat, and even the air we breathe may contain resistant bacteria, seek out alternative treatments we could use, and find out how the next generation of scientists can use new techniques to search the natural world for the next wave of antibiotics.
(Photo: Neutrophil white blood cell (green) engulfing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA, pink). Credit: Science Photo Library)