One of the greatest contributions to modern medicine was made by Sir Alexander Fleming, when he discovered penicillin, the first antibiotics.
But today scientists are warning that we may face a future where this amazing tool of modern medicine fails to work.
A future where antibiotics no longer works is an apocalyptic future, where a simple cut wound or childbirth could lead to death because bacteria is becoming completely resistant to treatment.
If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine”
– David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Government, suggests that by 2050, up to 10 million people may die due to antimicrobial resistance every year.
The Antibiotics Apocalypse Warning
During his Nobel Prize Lecture in 1945, Sir Alexander Fleming already warned: “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body.
“The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops.
“Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”
But with mass production of antibiotics and growing usage in animal farming, a new breed of bacteria has emerged – the Superbug, and antibiotics no longer work on them.
The documentary film ‘Resistance‘ provides a major insight into the history of antibiotics and what led up to this point.