How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

antibiotics 2019

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Kristina Lagerstedt, Founder and CEO, 1928 Diagnostics


In 1945, Sir Alexander Fleming received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of penicillin.

In Sir Alexander’s acceptance remarks, he spoke of the responsibility that accompanied that discovery, namely that antibiotics – despite their power to facilitate medical procedures otherwise difficult to perform without great risk of infection – could eventually cause dangerous problems. He was concerned about the possibility that over time, bacteria could become resistant to those powerful antibiotics, causing ever more lethal infections.

He was right. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a serious threat to global health. Organizations and institutions around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and many governments, have undertaken joint efforts to prevent antibiotic resistance and they are aware they are fighting against time. There is no question that without serious cooperative action, simple infections that were easily treated with antibiotics in the past could become lethal. In short, without serious attention to this issue, our current healthcare procedures are too weak to win the war against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

How can we – within the limited time available – protect ourselves from this very real threat to the world’s health?

First, we must move from reactive to proactive behavior. And we must collaborate, sharing our data and best practices to avoid duplication of effort. These efforts are already underway, and by leveraging these actions together with technological options we are approaching a global breakthrough.

Second, by employing new technology for monitoring and diagnostics, we can identify bacteria to prevent potential outbreaks in which an infection in one individual is quickly spread to others. Using available technologies like next-generation DNA sequencing, we can effectively determine whether a particular patient carries a bacteria that could potentially cause proliferation.

Third, we must communicate the importance of this problem, not only within our own professional communities but to every corner of the world, including developing and war-torn areas. The WHO and UN are capable of delivering the necessary messages on a global level, but they need the cooperation of governments and world leaders.

Underlying all these efforts is the power of science. Researchers are continually developing new approaches in their studies of bacteria. By sharing their results, they can multiply the impact of their research. There is also potential advantage in testing theories and sharing the data on newly found resistant mechanisms, merging the results to reveal the best possible solutions. Moving beyond basic chat platforms like Twitter and Slack to more sophisticated and user-friendly means of sharing data should be made standard practice.

Technology and medical technology entrepreneurs, with their dedicated teams and innovations, are among the stakeholders in this effort, along with large research organizations, governments and big corporations. The power of collaboration is obvious, especially because we have limited time to overcome the urgent threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Sir Alexander’s prophecy was correct. It is up to us to develop the tools to turn the challenge of that prophecy into a successful collaboration that keeps our world healthy.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

African continent ‘an example of solidarity’ towards migrants and refugees: UN chief

Alice in Colombia

Fed and ECB prepare a new party for the financial sharks

Job vacancy data reveal better prospects for Britain, stagnation in Eurozone

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

GSMA Mobile 360 Series –Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Distributed ownership: what it means and how it could transform India

American negotiators can’t pay for their trip to Brussels, EU-US trade agreement freezes

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

In 2019, ‘reasons for hope’ in a world still on ‘red alert’: UN chief Guterres

First full satellite survey of devastated ancient Aleppo raises recovery hopes

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

On the detention of children in the United States of America

Here are the biggest cybercrime trends of 2019

Newly displaced fleeing attacks in northeast Nigeria, top 2,000

EU migration crisis again accentuates lack of unity and solidarity among member states

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

250 days until the European Parliament elections

Access to ‘affordable’ medicines in India: challenges & solutions

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

Why a healthy planet and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

How Abu Dhabi found a way to grow vegetables in 40-degree heat

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “CO2 is not the problem, it is the symptom”, the pilots who crossed the world using solar energy cry out from Davos

European Youth cries out: Sustainable Development Goals ambitious, but lack focus on youth

How ducks are helping Bangladeshi farmers cope with cyclones

Dreaming of China

Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

More than one billion people do not have access to electricity. What will it take to get them connected?

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

Laws must protect, ‘not reject’ says UNAIDS chief on Zero Discrimination Day

Commission threatens Chinese firms with trade penalties

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

IMF: How To Deal With Failed Banks

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

The financial war touches Frankfurt and Berlin

Time to say goodbye to the plastic straw. But what’s the best alternative?

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

As children in Ebola-affected areas of DR Congo head back to school, UNICEF ramps up support

European Union: More taxes out of less income

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

Don’t dismiss start-ups founded by millennials. This is how they succeed

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Is Germany closer to Russia than the West? Nord Stream II and Iran count more

Here are three ways the private sector can act as a sustainability catalyst for Globalization 4.0

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s