Antibiotics image via www.shutterstock.com.
Doctors know that inappropriate prescribing can lead to antibiotic resistance. So why do they keep doing it?
Bacteria have been developing resistance to antibiotics for over a billion years.
Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change in a way that prevents the antibiotic from working in its normal manner. There are several ways in which this can happen.
Everyone says the solution to antibiotic-resistant superbugs is to use antibiotics less often – but it’s not happening.
Panic has spread with the discovery of a bacterium in the United States that is resistant to the last bastions of antibiotic resistance.
A quantum dot: A high-resolution transmission electron micrograph of cadmium telluride nanoparticles. (The scale bar in the lower right is 2 nanometers long, or two millionths of a millimeter.)
Nagpal Group, University of Colorado
Quantum dots - minuscule semiconductor particles with specific light-absorption properties - can kill drug-resistant superbugs without harming the surrounding healthy tissue.
We often don’t know exactly how long is necessary to treat many infections.
Doctors often tell patients to take a “course” of antibiotics, because a partially treated infection may result in relapse with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But where this advice come from?
Gene editing allows us to eliminate any misspellings, introduce beneficial natural variants, or perhaps cut out or insert new genes.
Should the gathering of experts from around the world that's considering the scientific, ethical, and governance issues linked to research into gene editing ring alarm bells?
A batch of ‘crapsules’
Would you freeze your poo for a rainy day of ill health?
The more we take antibiotics, the more likely we are to have superbugs down the line.
Antibiotics can prevent serious harm and stop infections becoming fatal. But they won't kill common cold and flu viruses, and careless overprescribing by doctors can do more harm than good.
Tests on mice have shown certain antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria can be treated with faecal transplants.
Two of the most common antibiotic-resistant bacteria circulating in hospitals can be wiped out by transplanting faeces from a healthy animal into the gut of an infected one, a study on mice has found.
While many of the fruits of the human genome project could be decades away, DNA sequencing of drug-resistant bacteria has been striding forwards
Insects are key to holding the food chain together. Without them, much of what we eat today won’t exist.
Without insects the food chain would diminish and we would have very little fruit and vegetables to eat.
There’s some evidence to suggest transmission can be prevented in crowded locations with the use of simple face masks.
Bacteria qualify as "superbugs" when there are no or few remaining effective antibiotics to kill them.
New antibiotics are desperately needed to treat these infections.
Superbugs are back in the news – and everybody loves a good germ panic story.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a leading cause of hospital infections.
New research shows the best way to treat hospital infections caused by C. difficile may be with more of the bacteria.
Staph aureus bloodstream infection has a 12-month death rate of between 20 and 35%.
Which of the following conditions would you prefer to have during your next stay in hospital? A. Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) bloodstream infection; or B. a heart attack?
Antibiotics from both human and animal use end up in our waterways.
We are only beginning to recognise the growing problem of antibiotics polluting our environment, and the serious repercussions it has for health.
Superbug breeding ground? It’s not just hospitals that have to battle the threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes.
The fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria – so-called “superbugs” – is a huge challenge, one that the World Health Organization has described as a grave global problem. When superbugs hit the headlines…
We’re in a protracted war against superbugs because we’ve overused existing antibiotics: a key weapon against disease.
We’ve heard a lot lately about superbugs – bacteria that are resistant to current antibiotics. But as the threat of superbugs continues to rise, the number of new treatments available has flatlined. This…
Scientists have discovered that the natural environment is a major reservoir of antibiotic resistant genes.
Resistance to commonly used antibiotics are in the genes of bacteria everywhere, researchers at the University of Lyon in…
Doctors are focused almost exclusively on treating the potential infection in the patient in front of them.
Health authorities have long warned that antibiotics should only be used when they’re genuinely needed, to restrain antibiotic-resistant superbugs and avoid potentially serious side-effects. But many doctors…