Inappropriate dispensing and overuse of antibiotics, especially in animal farming, could potentially teleport us back to the “dark ages” of the pre-antibiotics era. Infections and diseases that are currently easily treated, such as the common flu, might once again threaten the existence of the human population. The World Health Organisation recently identified 12 families of bacteria that have gained resistance to many antibiotics commonly used to treat hospital patients.
These pathogens have earnt themselves the notorious title of priority pathogens, as they undoubtedly pose a severe threat to human health. A ranking system has been developed as a guide for government bodies to prioritise their research for new antibiotics against the aforementioned superbugs.
Continuous research and adequate awareness programs aim to combat the threat presented to us by these superbugs before more diseases are rendered untreatable and simple surgical procedures cannot be performed due to an overwhelming risk of death from infections.
Jia Cheng Tan