We went to London’s Science Museum to learn about antibiotic-resistant superbugs and how the science of urgent need to develop new antibiotics is responding.
Since the discovery of Penicillin-the world’s first antibiotic in 1928 – Antibiotics served humanity as a powerful tool to kill harmful bacteria. Before antibiotics came into existence, the lives of millions of people were lost from those diseases which were untreated.
However, during the last 70 years, bacteria are fighting back. They have evolved into an almost invincible superbug with an enlarged superpower. And they are spreading around the world, quietly waiting to attack the next victim.
In the last 30 years, no new antibiotics have been produced. Finding antibiotics is not easy – the discovery of penicillin was caused by accident – and they are expensive to replace in medicines. But how much is the cost of human life?
It has been estimated that there are 5,000 deaths each year in England because antibiotics are no longer effective for some infections. Globally, antibiotic-resistant superbugs kill 700,000 people a year. Experts estimate that in just 30 years, by approximately 2050, antibiotic resistance is going to kill more people than cancer and diabetes. This means that by then the superbug killed 10 million people.
There is an urgent need to invest in more research to find new antibiotics. The urgency is such that the United Nations has called it a global health emergency.
The importance of taking antibiotics is to increase public awareness when they are needed and under medical supervision. There is also a need to call private investors and scientists to find a faster solution to the current superbug crisis.
Kevin Cole and Dr. John Paul (PHE / Modern Medical Microbiology), Professor Martin Llewelyn, Dr. Dior Cantilon, Dr. James Price and Dr. Superbugs produced by Bio Artist Anna Dumitrio have been depicted in collaboration with Lina Al-Hassan. (Brighton and Sussex Medical School), and Dr. Nicola Fossette (University of Oxford / Modernizing Medical Microbiology) safely displays samples of 12 actual bacterial colonies, including nine deadly bacteria: MRSA, Neisserver gonorrhoeae, Acinetobacter baumanii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomon. , Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus faselis, Enterobacter clocae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
How Antibiotic Resistance Affects
Bacteria can pass resistance to antibiotics when they become exposed to other bacteria, Science Museum London.
Antibiotic resistance is the result of bacteria which becomes resistant to antibiotics when the cause of infection in the organism.
The main reason for antibiotic resistance is to increase the use of antibiotics in agriculture and livestock development. Farm animals develop drug resistant bacteria in their intestines. The same drug-resistant bacteria reaches people’s plates and enters the human body.
Other approaches of drug resistant bacteria to reach the human body include the environment, water, soil, air and direct human-animal contact. Finally, drug-resistant bacteria quickly spread to the general public.
It can be prevented by reducing the amount of antibiotics that farmers use to feed animals and use both to speed up; Then both animals and humans could be safe.
In hospitals, doctors abuse antibiotics, even if they are not necessary and determine them for anything, this also increases the spread of drug resistant bacteria. U.K. According to the Health Department, in the United Kingdom alone, the NHS gives unnecessary prescriptions up to 10 million every year. Drug-resistant bacteria also spread among others through poor sanitation and unclean features.
Taking antibiotics daily for viral infections, such as colds or flu, where they are not effective, encourage harmful bacteria that remain inside the human body to become resistant. This means that antibiotics can not work when they actually need it.
According to the economical pharmaceutical network in Kenya, the Kenyan government is concerned about the risk that causes superbug for 1.5 million people living with HIV in the African nation. People infected with HIV are very much dependent on antibiotics and the lack of effective people can be fatal.
Treatment of Superbug Tuberculosis (TB)
Tuberculosis is a killer. It kills more people than any other infectious diseases. There are many superbug stains in TB, which are very difficult to beat. According to GlaxoSmithKline U.K, superbug TB requires 14,000 doses of antibiotic pills taken in two years (pictured above).
Vaccines can be an option; They take the immune system to fight bacteria on their own. The problem is that adequate new vaccines are developed.
Sir Alexander Fleming was one of those people who predicted the rise of superbugs and what the future could bring. He estimated that “it was not difficult for penicillin to make microbes resistant.” Something that we can clearly see happening now
Penicillin was the world’s first antibiotic that was developed globally. In 1928, the accident was discovered by microbiologist Sir Alexander Fleming, in 1929, the first effect of penicillin was reported. A decade later, scientists at Oxford University developed penicillin as a drug for the treatment of bacterial infections.
It was a revolutionary progression in medicine. Thanks to penicillin and antibiotics which followed the treatment of bacterial infection and saved many lives.
Bechem Research Laboratories, Production of Penicillin in the 1950s, Science Museum London’s Superbugs Exhibition
Evolution of Bacterial Resistance for Colistine
Antibiotics are chemicals made by bacteria and fungi. To find one, they have the power to kill other bacteria. Since 1940, antibiotics are used for bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, sore throat and others.
Collision (cholestimetic sodium) is usually the last resort called antibiotics. After all other antibiotic treatment fails, colistine is only used in cases of severe superbug infection.
According to TEVA UK, in 2015, scientists in the UK and China found that due to the fact that colistin was given to farm animals so that they could grow rapidly, this practice could potentially harm people, Even people living thousands of miles away
In 2017, scientific evidence provoked China to ban the use of collysin in animal feed.
Longitude Award Contest: A Call To Global Scientists
British Government and Innovation Foundation Nosta encouraged scientists to develop new solutions to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a global strategy. Longitude prize was opened for submission in November 2014.
The committee is going to award £ 8 million to the first team who can demonstrate that they are capable of developing a fast, inexpensive and accurate clinical test for bacterial infection.
At the time of writing, there are 83 international teams from 14 countries participating in the competition. The longitude award already has three start-ups. Each of them has been awarded £ 100,000 to develop their rapid diagnostic tests to deal with antibiotic resistance.
Three earlier startups come from all over India: Module Innovation, Pune; NanOxX, Delhi and Hyderabad; And Omix & Spence, Bengaluru.
Boost Grant was sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the Government of India initiative, which was part of the longest partnership with the Longitude Award run by Nesta.
Without antibiotics, the world can again experience the time when organ transplants were not possible, or regular-surgery, more than that, women could die again in childbirth. The danger is real. And bacteria are everywhere around us.