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Superbugs vs Antibiotics

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Superbug breeding ground? It’s not just hospitals that have to battle the threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes. Wong Wentong/

The water industry needs to join the fight against superbugs

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…
Time to shelve our overuse of antibiotics. Elsamu

Superbugs move faster than governments can act

Infections and deaths caused by superbugs are increasing every year. So the government’s five-year strategy to tackle the problem, if a little tardy, is a welcome step. In January, Chief Medical Officer…
A microscopic version of this kills bacteria. Ed Schipul

Silver bullets kill bacteria, not werewolves or witches

The use of silver in medicine is as old as western medicine itself. Hippocrates is known to have used it to treat ulcers and wounds, the Romans almost certainly knew of its healing properties, its use…
The drugs don’t work. But a swifter way of identifying bacteria could reduce the need for antibiotics. AAP

Teasing out harmful bacterial genes to reduce resistance to antibiotics

Researchers have taken the first step towards designing a rapid way of identifying harmful bacteria in infections, demonstrating the potential for faster patient treatment and decreased reliance on antibiotics…
Unregulated antibiotic use in many Asian farms can lead to widespread resistance, which is passed to humans through the food chain.

China, India travel boosts risk of antibiotic resistant cystitis

Experts have warned of the growing risk of travellers to India, China and South East Asia bringing home E.coli infections…
Widespread and unmonitored use of antibiotics in commercial Chinese pig farms may pose a risk to human health worldwide, the study said. podchef,

China’s farms pose growing antibiotic resistance risk

Unchecked use of antibiotics in Chinese farms had led to widespread antibiotic resistance, a new study has found, with researchers…
There are no magic bullets in the antibiotic pipeline that will eradicate the superbugs. Alessandro Pinna

New antibiotics: what’s in the pipeline?

Bacteria are one of the most successful colonisers of the planet. They can be found in almost all environments we know – from the deepest oceans to acid lakes, and inside and on our bodies. And the history…
We already know what a world without effective antibiotics would look like - just recall the pre-antibiotic era. Lynae Zebest

A peek at a world with useless antibiotics and superbugs

History not only shows us our errors but also predicts our future. So, we don’t need to speculate about what a world full of superbugs and useless antibiotics would look like, we just need to recall the…
As simple as the procedure sounds, we don’t yet fully understand how faecal transplants work. Image from

Trading chemistry for ecology with poo transplants

Antibiotics joined our growing arsenal of weapons in the fight against disease over seventy years ago. Their target – the bacterial infections that putrefied our wounds, filled our lungs with pneumonia…
The days when there was always a new antibiotic just around the corner to treat the latest superbug are long gone. Ralph Keating

Unblocking the pipeline for new antibiotics against superbugs

Most experts considering the subject agree that the antibiotic development pipeline is not sufficient by a long shot. The days when there was always a new antibiotic just around the corner to treat the…
Bacteria are like little towns surrounded by walls that have gates for letting supplies in and waste out. Michael Douglas Bramwell

The last stand: the strongest of the superbugs and their antibiotic nemesis

New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1, or NDM-1 bacteria as they’re commonly known, are among the most dangerous superbugs to have emerged in recent years. They’re resistant to almost all the antibiotics…
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

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

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…

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