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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Fight Against Resistance

Microbial resistance to antibiotics is rising. Keiji Fukuda at the WHO has described antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a major threat to global public health, stating “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill” (1). AMR is a natural and inevitable phenomenon, an outcome of natural selection; bacteria always have evolved to resist threats to their survival and will continue to do so. AMR cannot be completely prevented, but urgent action must be taken to curtail it and minimise its impact on global health.

Excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics and antimicrobials more widely – combined with inadequate infection control and poor hygiene – are the main factors contributing to the spread of resistance, according to the European Commission’s statement on AMR (2). Decades of over-prescription and off-prescription use, in both humans and animals, have exacerbated the problem, and development of new antibiotics has all but stalled, with far fewer new drugs being licensed in the last couple of decades than in the early and mid-20th century.

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Dr Michele Barbour is Chief Executive Officer of Pertinax Pharma. Pertinax technology was developed by her research group at the University of Bristol, UK, where she is Reader in biomaterials and Deputy Head of Bristol Dental School, UK. Michele is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and a leading textbook. She founded Pertinax Pharma in 2015 to commercialise the technology that allows the controlled and sustained release of the antiseptic chlorhexidine.
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