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Articles on Superbugs

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Australia’s food chain has among the lowest rates of antibiotic resistance, but new threats call for stronger monitoring. Eli Duke

The hunt is on for superbugs in Australian animals

Australia has some of the world’s most conservative restrictions on using antimicrobial drugs in livestock. Possibly as a consequence, we have some of the lowest rates in the world of antibiotic resistance…
Only by prescribing antibiotics smarter instead of broader will we keep superbugs at bay. lamentables/Flickr

We can beat superbugs with better stewardship of antibiotics

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming a major problem. Calls to action on increasing rates of resistance have been made by the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC…
Bacteria can quickly adapt and overcome the antibiotics that used to kill them. Image from shutterstock.com

Superbugs, human ecology and the threat from within

At the beginning of the 20th century, around one in three children in countries such as Australia and the United States died of infection before the age of five. But since Howard Florey first described…
Around 180,000 hospital-acquired infections occur in Australia each year. Hospital image from shutterstock.com

Washing our hands of responsibility for hospital infections

Infections, like taxes, are inevitable (to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin). Most are acquired in the community and the dangerous ones are, in the main, very difficult to prevent. But many infections are…
Ask whether you really need to take antibiotics and be vigilant with food and water when traveling. duncan

We can beat superbugs – here’s how

Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are reaching epidemic proportions around the world, particularly in developing countries. In Australia, we’re also seeing increasing numbers of serious infections which…
Not taking the whole course of antibiotics leads to the survival of a small number of bacteria that can tolerate the drug. Dave Rutt

Explainer: what are antibiotics?

You’ve got a high fever, severe cough and find it hard to breathe – all symptoms of severe pneumonia. Before antibiotics, you’d likely be dead within ten days. In fact, before we had these amazing drugs…

Reducing superbugs through hand hygiene

An educational initiative has improved hand hygiene practices among health care workers and reduced rates of antibiotic-resistant…

Superbug can cause life-threatening diarrhoea

A common hospital bacterium can mutate into a superbug that causes potentially life-threatening diarrhoea, a Monash University-led…
Nano-silver can be found in everyday products such as these. Friends of the Earth

Nano-silver in household products could breed new superbugs

The widespread use of nano-silver particles in household items such as toothbrushes, socks and shoe inserts is contributing to the growth of superbugs, according to a Friends of the Earth report released…
Marsupials and monotremes could do the dirty on drug-resistant infections. Lorinda Taylor/AAP

Doctor’s pouch: Australian mammals hold the key to fighting superbugs

We know, because it’s big news, that drug-resistant infections are on the rise globally. But could Australian mammals hold the key to a fightback? Our current crop of antibiotics is in danger of becoming…
The development and dissemination of Salmonella Kentucky’s antimicrobial resistance may be caused by the antibiotics used in animals farmed for food. shannonkringen/flickr

Salmonella Kentucky: stopping the spread of a new superbug

Recent outbreaks of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (e-coli) in Germany and reports about the emergence of “new superbug” Salmonella Kentucky have re-focused public attention on food-borne diseases…

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