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Novel strategies for combatting anti-bacterial resistance

9 December 2019 09:30-17:20, London, United Kingdom

The introduction of the first β-lactam antibacterial agents in the 1940s transformed medicine. However, shortly after their introduction methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was identified (UK 1962; US 1968), which became a substantial clinical problem. The emergence and dissemination of resistance among bacterial pathogens continued unabated. In response to this threat, over the next four decades, many new antibacterial agents were discovered, developed and deployed, saving millions of lives. Worryingly, bacterial resistance has been observed to nearly all antibacterial antibiotics that have been developed thus threatening the efficacy of the antibiotic arsenal that is available to treat life-threatening bacterial infections. Of particular concern, are patients undergoing organ transplantation, elective and acute major surgery and chemotherapy.

The rapid emergence of resistant bacteria that has ensued has become a major global public health crisis placing a substantial clinical and financial burden on healthcare providers, clinicians, patients and their families. In Europe alone, there are ~33,000 deaths per year due to resistant infections (and 700,000 world-wide). Resistant infections require longer stays in hospital thus increasing costs. Healthcare costs and subsequent productivity losses amount to ~1.5bn euros annually. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be 10 million deaths every year globally and costs world-wide are predicted to soar to £78 trillion GBP ($100 trillion USD).

The present ABR crisis has been attributed to the overuse and injudicious prescribing of antibiotics, as well as a lack of new drug development by the pharmaceutical industry. To avert this crisis a coordinated, cross-sector, global response is urgently required to tackle ABR, implementing new prescribing policies and encouraging renewed research efforts directed towards novel therapeutics, biomarkers and diagnostics. This symposium brings together some of the most influential researchers involved in these endeavours and should be of interest to a wide audience of basic scientists, medicinal chemists, microbiologists, clinicians and geneticists.
The Royal Society of Chemistry

Library, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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