What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

The over-prescription of antibiotics has led to a rapid increase in the spread of drug-resistant super-bugs. Increased antimicrobial resistance is the cause of severe infections, complications, longer hospital stays and increased mortality.

"We have reached a critical point and must act now on a global scale to slow down antimicrobial resistance."
Prof. Dame Sally Davies - Chief UK Medical Officer

"The scale and nature of this economic threat could wipe out hard-fought development gains and take us away from our goals of ending extreme poverty."

World Bank President - Jim Yong Kim

"The world is facing an antibiotic apocalypse."

UK Chief Medical Officer - Professor Dame Sally Davies

"On current trends, a common disease like gonorrhea may become untreatable. Doctors facing patients will have to say, ‘I’m sorry - there’s nothing I can do for you."

Health Organization Director General - 2017 Margaret Chan

"If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible."

UN Secretary General - Ban Ki-Moon, 2017

What is the Problem?

1

An overprescription of drugs leads to the development of resistant bacterial strains.

2

New antibiotics become harder and harder to develop.

3

Over-prescription of antibiotics

Across the world antibiotics are over-prescribed. Rather than carrying out invasive and expensive tests physicians often turn to antibiotics as a blanket measure to counter infections, regardless of whether they are bacterial or viral. In many countries you can buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription, which has further contributed to a rapid increase in resistant bacterial strains.

Bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics

As bacteria are exposed to more and more antibiotics they develop resistance to the most prevalent strains making them harder to treat.

We are running out of new antibiotics. Slowing and reversing bacterial resistance is now imperative.

Bacterial infections become untreatable

Even relatively harmless bacteria, can develop resistance to multiple antibiotics and cause life-threatening infections. As Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health organization puts it: “On current trends, a common disease like gonorrhea may become untreatable. Doctors facing patients will have to say, ‘I’m sorry - there’s nothing I can do for you.’”

Who is prescribing?

General Practitioners: 74%

Hospital Inpatients: 11%

Hospital Outpatients: 7%

Dental Practises: 5%

Other Community Settings: 2%

The problem of antimicrobial resistance starts with the over-prescription of antibiotics. Around the world the primary point of prescription is at the first point of care: a GP clinic, family clinic, etc. where 74% of all antibiotics are prescribed (in the UK). To tackle this global epidemic we have to change how we prescribe antibiotics, replacing subjective diagnosis with an objective, targeted approach.  

The problem of antimicrobial resistance starts with the over-prescription of antibiotics. Around the world the primary point of prescription is at the first point of care: a GP clinic, family clinic, etc. where 74% of all antibiotics are prescribed (in the UK). To tackle this global epidemic we have to change how we prescribe antibiotics, replacing subjective diagnosis with an objective, targeted approach.  

There is a direct correlation between rates of over-prescription and the rates of antibiotic resistance. As such, it is the culture and practice of over-prescription that needs to be addressed. Medical practitioners need access to rapid point of care diagnostics that will allow them to objectively diagnose infection, significantly cutting the number of unnecessary prescriptions. 

The Global Cost of AMR

By 2050 there will be:

10 Million

annual deaths as a result of AMR.

£66 Trillion

in lost productivity to the global
economy.*

*As projected by the O'Neil report.

MRSA costs the USA an additional 2 billion dollars a year in secondary care.

National Institute for Allergy And Infectious Disease

In the UK alone5,000 people die each year due complications arising from preventable drug resistance as a result of over-prescription of antibiotics.

UK Department of Health

In Europe, drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for 400,000 infections and the deaths of 25,000 people. It is estimated that the fact that up to 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are unsuitable is responsible for this.

BSAV

In the US, at least 2m people acquire serious infections annually with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Our Vision: Making the Subjective Objective.

Our technology removes the subjectivity from diagnosis. By making the diagnosis of infection objective we can radically decrease the rate of over-prescription of antibiotics. Studies show that when the rate of prescription decreases, then the resistance of bacteria not only slows but actually decreased by 20%.*

By injecting our diagnosis technology into GP surgeries and points of primary care we can make a significant and incumbent contribution to slowing and reversing the catastrophic threat that AMR poses to the population's health and economy.

"Rapid diagnostics could transform the way we use antimicrobials in humans and animals: reducing unnecessary use, slowing AMR and so making existing drugs last longer. It is not acceptable that much of the technology used to inform the prescription of important medicines like antibiotics has not evolved substantially in more than 140 years."​

*Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations. The Review of Antimicrobial ResistanceChaired by Jim O'Neill May.2016
 

Find Out How

References

Antimicrobial Resistance: Risk Associated with Antibiotic Overuse and Initiatives to Reduce the Problem - Carl Llor and Lars Bjerrum Dec. 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232501/  

TacklingDrug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations. The Review of Antimicrobial Resistance Chaired by Jim O'Neill May. 2016   

*Effect of macrolide consumption on erythromycin resistance in Streptococcus pyogenes in Finland in 1997-2001. - Bergman M1, Huikko S, PihlajamäkiM, Laippala P, Palva E, Huovinen P, SeppäläH; Finnish Study Group for Antimicrobial Resistance (FiRe Network). 

http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/​

https://www.bsava.com/Resources/PROTECT/
Introduction.aspx

​http://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/AMR%20Review%
20Paper%20-%20Tackling%20a%20crisis%20for%20the%
20health%20and%20wealth
%20of%20nations_1.pdf