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...

Abstract, confusing and difficult to pronounce: why we need to rename antimicrobial resistance

25th August 2020

As MP Julian Sturdy recently noted in his cross-party letter to the UK Prime Minister, antimicrobial resistance is not only a problem that is potentially exacerbated by COVID-19 – it has the potential to be an even bigger threat than coronavirus. Yet this public health emergency remains stubbornly under the radar compared to other diseases. Could something as simple as renaming it resolve the issue?

How can we ensure the pharma industry protects the supply of essential medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond?

20th August 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens and more patients across the globe enter hospitals with symptoms of the virus and secondary bacterial infections, the appropriate use of antibiotics is now more critical than ever. Concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are mounting. Studies on hospitalised COVID-19 patients have shown that while 72% of patients received antibiotics, only 8% demonstrated superimposed bacterial or fungal co-infections. This overuse of antibiotics could spur another global health crisis — the rise of superbugs...

Drowning in jargon: COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance and our failure to ‘finish the job’ of science

18th August 2020

Sir Mark Wolpert once said, “Science is not finished until it’s communicated.” Indeed, whether it’s COVID-19 or antimicrobial resistance, effectively communicating with the public plays a vital role in keeping the general population safe. Yet too many important messages are rendered incomprehensible by technical terminology. Katie Comery, Senior Creative Consultant at The Writer, looks at ways we can strip out the jargon and still keep complex scientific concepts intact...

BSAC meets UNICEF: it’s time to protect our children against the biggest threat to their lives – superbugs

11th August 2020

In its recent report on antimicrobial resistance, Time is Running Out, UNICEF describes superbugs as “perhaps the greatest threat to child survival and health of this generation”. We caught up with Alexandre Costa from UNICEF to talk about the reasons why drug-resistant infections pose such a grave threat to the young, as well as exploring the ways UNICEF might work alongside civil society organisations to meet the global challenge of superbugs....

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