Starting in the 1930's, scientists began discovering antibiotics. These drugs have gone on to save millions of lives by killing the bugs responsible for infectious diseases. Here are the ten key moments in the discovery of antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health threats of our time. CORRECTIV reporters have been covering superbugs for more than two years. Here are the seven things they've learned that we can all do to help fight drug resistant bugs.
Journalists from NDR and infectious disease researchers from the University of Leipzig travelled to India to investigate the runoff at pharmaceutical factories. In water samples collected in Hyderabad, a city known for its pharmaceutical industry, they found high concentrations of antibiotics as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The results of this research were published last week in the scientific journal Infection.
Each year, thousands of Germans die from superbug-infections. The reasons: too many antibiotics, poor hygiene, political reluctance. And the numbers are growing. Scientists caution that a tsunami is coming our way, a disaster “greater than climate change”. Regardless, those involved do nothing but shift blame – almost no one is willing to fight the superbugs with full force. We show that there are already many more incidents than officially reported. And we are launching a long-term international investigation. For this, we need your help.
We have a problem with infections. And we do not have a solution. Worldwide, Superbugs – resistant against antibiotics – are on the rise. The more humans use antibiotics and the more often we feed antibiotics to livestock, the bigger our problem gets. Already, thousands of people are dying in Europe, every year.
Since the existence of antibiotics, bacteria have been learning to deal with them. Today, there is a lot of attention on these bugs. What is lacking, however, are reliable data – and effective treatments.
In November, scientists discovered resistance to the important last-resort antibiotic colistin. Since then, events have escalated. The substance is at risk of losing its designation as an emergency medication. The probable cause is its massive use in intensive meat production.
The pharmaceutical industry’s demands: The international community should pay for the development of new, highly efficient antibiotics. It is true: These drugs are not profitable and the demand is justified.
The American meat industry uses antibiotics as fattening agents indiscriminately: farmers can even mix the antibiotics into feed themselves. A new piece of legislation should help reign in the use of antibiotics – ten years after the EU first took action.
In Britain’s poultry farming the use of an antibiotic that is important for humans has risen by 59 percent. This is proven by an investigative research conducted by the non-profit bureau TBIJ in London. correctiv.org cooperates with TBIJ in its report about resistant germs.
With a simple brochure, researchers were able to convince a large group of doctors in Britain to prescribe less antibiotics. In the scientific journal ‘Lancet’ they are talking about their experiences.