The development of antibiotics in the 1940s was one of the greatest advances in medicine, but they are becoming increasingly ineffective as bacteria become resistant to them. Prof. Davies said there is only one effective antibiotic left for gonorrhea and 80% of cases are resistant to tetracycline. Tuberculosis is becoming increasingly resistant and there are around 150,000 deaths globally from multi-antibiotic resistant tuberculosis each year. Staphylococcal and urinary tract infections are now resistant to penicillin, and MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is increasingly prevalent, especially in health care facilities.
Prof. Davies said there is "a broken market model" for the development of new antibiotics, which means there could be no new antibiotics in the future. The pharmaceutical industry is concentrating its efforts on more profitable treatments such as drugs for chronic diseases, which has led to a reduction in research aiming to find or develop new antibiotics.
What would you do in the case that a pandemic broke out?