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Antibiotic awareness

Antibiotic susceptibility test demonstrating resistance to a selection of antimicrobials

Careless use of antibiotics is speeding up resistance, and with few new antibiotics in the pipeline, more infections are becoming harder to treat. The World Health Organization’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 14–20 November 2016, aims to spread best practices among the general public, healthcare professionals and policymakers to stem the tide of a major threat to global health. Find out how you can make your contribution in our special report.

News

Antimicrobial resistance E Coli

Indicators developed to measure EU progress on tackling antibiotic resistance

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A set of outcome indicators has been developed to help EU member states monitor their progress in combating antimicrobial resistance.

Doctor writing a prescription

Antibiotic use in England has fallen for the first time

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Report finds primary care in England now uses the lowest amounts of two broad spectrum antibiotic classes — cephalosporins and quinolones — compared to elsewhere in the EU.

Antimicrobial resistance testing in petri dish

UK government puts up £4m to cover capital costs of antimicrobial resistance research

Funding of £4m is being made available by the UK government to support projects that tackle the global challenges of antimicrobial resistance. 

E-coli bacteria from a patient with a urinary tract infection

Grampian pharmacists supply antibiotics for uncomplicated UTIs

Community pharmacists in Grampian have been given the go-ahead to supply antibiotics to women with an uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI).

Dame Sally Davies

Global declaration to fight antimicrobial resistance

A declaration to tackle drug-resistant infections is due to be signed by 193 countries at the United Nations General Assembly on 21 September 2016.

Research briefing

Micrograph of Shigella bacteria

Predatory bacterium could fight drug-resistant superbugsSubscription

Using Bdellovibrio to control Shigella infection in zebrafish larvae, researchers say this type of living antibiotic could hold potential for tackling antimicrobial resistance.

Micrograph of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Patients commonly ‘self-prescribe’ antibioticsSubscription

A quarter of patients would take antibiotics without consulting a medical professional, study finds. 

Close up of teeth during a dental examination

Concern over GP antibiotic prescribing for dental problemsSubscription

Over 50% of patients were prescribed an antibiotic for dental complaints, reveals an analysis of GP consultations.

Little girl rubbing cream into her arm

Antibiotics not effective for children with infected eczemaSubscription

Researchers conclude less severe eczema infection can be treated with topical steroids and emollients

Screenshot of Mykrobe, a computer programme that predicts antibiotic resistance in three minutes

Computer programme predicts antibiotic resistance in three minutesSubscription

Mykrobe software uses genome sequence data to predict resistance to 12 antibiotics in retrospective study.

Feature

Collage showing MRSA, research and antibiotics

New approaches to overcoming antimicrobial resistanceSubscription

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As antibiotic resistance continues to threaten the treatment of various infections, researchers are looking for new ways to supplement and in some cases replace failing antimicrobial drugs.

Opinion

Tim Evans is the senior director of health, nutrition and population at the World Bank Group

Q&A: World Bank warns that inaction on antimicrobial resistance could increase healthcare costs in developing countriesSubscription

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Tim Evans from the World Bank Group talks about new research that shows how inaction on antimicrobial resistance could wipe out decades of healthcare gains and dramatically increase healthcare costs in developing countries.

Research and learning

Molecular model of C-reactive protein

Evaluating a point-of-care C-reactive protein test to support antibiotic prescribing decisions in a general practiceSubscription

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C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of infection and inflammation. It is high in bacterial infections but very low or close to zero in viral infections. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), England and Wales’s health technology assessment body, has issued guidance on pneumonia in adults; it recommends point-of-care (POC) CRP analysers when clinical assessment is inconclusive. If the CRP level is less than 20mg/L, no antibiotics ...

Illustration antibiotic destroying bacteria

Principles of initiating antimicrobial therapy and empiric prescribingSubscription

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Healthcare professionals should be aware of the principles of antimicrobial treatment and the need to reduce inappropriate prescribing to retain the effectiveness of drugs currently available.

Helicobacter pylori infections and treatment remain an unsolved problem with around one-half of the world’s population still infected. In the image, micrograph of H. pylori bacteria on the surface of a human gastric epithelial cell

Drug therapies for Helicobacter pylori infectionsSubscription

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Selecting the most appropriate treatment regimen for patients with Helicobacter pylori.

All forms of natural and semisynthetic penicillins, or drugs with a similar structure such as cephalosporins or carbapenems, can cause allergy. In the image, penicillin allergy rash in forearm

Penicillin allergy: identification and management

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How to assess patients for true penicillin allergy and make appropriate treatment choices.

Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic commonly used for the treatment of infections and surgical prophylaxis. In the image, surgeons in the middle of an operation

Gentamicin: dose regimens and monitoring

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How to calculate the correct dose of gentamicin and monitor patients to prevent toxicity.

Public Health England supports #AntibioticGuardian campaign

The public health agency urges healthcare professionals, universities and professional organisations to sign up to become antibiotic guardians and register their activities that support World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day. Read Public Health England's call to action on antibiotic stewardship here.

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