AMR occurs when microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi) develop the ability to resist the action of antibiotics that would otherwise kill them or prevent them from growing. The emergence of AMR is accelerated by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals, as well as lack of research and innovation to develop new antibiotics.
In attendance at the event, Prof Timothy Walsh, Research Director at the Ineos Oxford Institute for antimicrobial research (IOI), stated: ‘Due to a lack of investment in research, we haven’t discovered a new class of antibiotics for almost 40 years. Without the development of new solutions to combat the rise of bacterial resistance to current antibiotics, we will inevitably return to a pre-antibiotic era. Common medical procedures such as C-sections or hip replacement surgery could carry high risks.’
Baroness Natalie Bennett, Member of the House of Lords and Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics, pressed on the need for urgent government funding to discover new antibiotics: ‘Antimicrobial resistance is one of the leading global public health threats facing humanity today. However, public awareness about the impacts AMR will have on our lives is worryingly low. Without increased funding for new antibiotics, our everyday life could be extremely dangerous. The government has to invest in new research before it’s too late.’
Other AMR experts in attendance included Dr Nick Brown, Consultant Medical Microbiologist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust; Prof Brad Spiller, Head of Microbiology at the University of Cardiff; and Dr Lucy Jones, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Associate Specialist, Cardiff University and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University health board.
To get involved in the campaign and the movement for increased AMR research funding, sign the petition here www.notinourlifetime.org