UTIs and AMR: How wee can stem the rise of drug resistant superbugs

27th October 2020

Up to 1.2 million women in Britain suffer from chronic – long-term – lower urinary tract (UTI) infections. Every year, UTIs are responsible for 184,000 unplanned hospital admissions, which cost the NHS around £434m to treat. Yet all too often, these infections are treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, which only treat the symptoms not the underlying causes. In this post, Giovanna Forte, CEO of Forte Medical, talks about her own experiences with a chronic UTI infection, and the simple solution she hopes can bring relief to all...

Aspergillosis: how environment pollution helped transform a fungal infection into a drug-resistant superbug

13th October 2020

When we talk about superbugs, much of the focus tends to be on drug-resistant bacterial infections. Yet the drugs we use to treat fungal infections are also beginning to fail, with devastating implications for our health. In this post, Jill Fairweather from the Aspergillosis Trust talks about how a ‘hidden’ fungal infection is already impacting patients’ lives and how environmental pollution is making a bad situation even worse...

Antibiotic resistance and dentistry: Drilling to the root of the problem

6th October 2020

Antibiotic-resistant infections, which already kill hundreds of thousands of people every year, are on the rise around the world, with the World Health Organisation noting that the situation requires ‘urgent action across all sectors’. With as many as one-in-ten prescriptions for antibiotics written by dentists, Dr Wendy Thompson, an academic general dental practitioner and a leading advocate for the safe and responsible use of antibiotics, explores what the dental industry are doing to meet the challenge...

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in our waters – are we up a creek without a paddle?

29th September 2020

From streams and lakes, to rivers and oceans, antibiotics are making their way into our waters in ever greater concentrations, increasing antibiotic resistance and risking a rise in deadly superbugs. Yet despite the potential implications for human health, current environmental risk assessment guidelines and environmental regulations don’t consider antibiotic resistance. Researchers from Exeter University are calling for urgent change...

The risk of being risk averse: for the majority of patients reporting a penicillin allergy, avoiding penicillin may be doing more harm than good.

22nd September 2020

If a patient has a penicillin allergy record in their medical notes, every doctor knows what to do. We avoid the more narrow-spectrum penicillin antibiotics in these patients and instead use second line antibiotics which often have a broader spectrum, right? But what if in doing so, we are doing more harm than good?

COVID-19: how infectious disease exposes the racism within our healthcare system

15th September 2020

In a recent article in The Guardian, Dr JS Bamrah, honorary vice president of the British Medical Association, wrote that ‘although the NHS itself is not racist […] structural and institutional racism have blighted the lives of many BAME people.’ In this post, Dr Siema Iqbal explores how COVID-19 has made these inequalities more pronounced, and argues that it’s time to address structural and institutional racism, not just in the NHS, but in wider society...

Antibiotics are failing – could phage therapy hold the key to stopping antibiotic resistant superbugs?

8th September 2020

Traditional antibiotics are failing. Pharmaceutical companies are no longer bringing new ones to market, and many have stopped research into antibiotics all together. The WHO have condemned current efforts to develop new antibiotics as “insufficient to tackle the challenge of increasing emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance”. Is it time to abandon this search and fund alternative therapies instead?

Not all heroes wear capes: Educating young people about antibiotic resistance can play a vital role in saving the world from superbugs

1st September 2020

Superbugs are a big issue everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more so than in India, where an estimated 58,000 babies die every year from drug-resistant infections passed on from their mothers. Superheroes Against Superbugs (SaS) explain how they are striving to build a community dedicated to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic resistant-infections in India, and beyond...

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