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Understanding antibiotic resistance
Understanding antibiotic resistance

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9 Summary

This week, you learned that we have few working antibiotics left to treat bacterial infections. More and better treatment options are urgently needed, either in the form of new antibiotics or by modifying existing drugs. Unfortunately, as you should now realise, scientific, financial and regulatory barriers to the discovery and development of new antibiotics means that this is not an easy option.

You should now be able to:

  • recall key events in the history of antibiotics
  • explain how antibiotics are discovered and produced
  • describe the current antibiotic armoury
  • give reasons for the decline in the production of antibiotics
  • outline approaches to make existing antibiotics more effective
  • identify potential sources of novel antibiotics.

Next week, you will learn about another approach to tackling the antibiotic resistance crisis – reducing the use of antibiotics.

You can now go to Week 7.