Have you ever been prescribed a course of antibiotics by your doctor to treat a bacterial infection? Did you wonder how they worked? It’s likely that, provided you completed the course prescribed by your doctor, the antibiotics successfully treated your infection. But what if the bacteria causing your infection couldn’t be treated with antibiotics? This situation is faced by an increasing number of people and in the UK at least 5000 a year die from infections that can’t be treated with currently available antibiotics. But what makes bacteria resistant to infection, what is a ‘superbug’ and what are scientists doing about the problem?
In this free course, Understanding antibiotic resistance, you will learn about the history of antibiotics, what they are and how they work. You will learn how antibiotic resistance develops and spreads and look at the issues surrounding antibiotic resistance. Finally, you will look at some of the cutting edge ways that scientists are trying to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance, from promoting good hygiene to developing new antibiotics from the soil.
You can find the course here: Understanding antibiotic resistance.
This OpenLearn science course is being produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation.