Superbug Threat (01:31)
Panorama investigates rise of organisms that may soon defeat modern medicine, fueled by a lack of global control of antibiotics.
Antibiotic Resistance Review (01:44)
Antibiotics are losing their potency; government medical adviser Sally Davies warns against returning to a scenario in which 43% of patients died from infection. Economist Jim O'Neill estimates it will cost 10 million lives annually, if unchecked.
Threat to Modern Medicine (03:16)
Superbug infections cause 25,000 deaths a year in Europe. A Liverpool hospital has redesigned wards to limit infection. One man experienced confusion while suffering sepsis; Dr. Nick Beeching warns that antibiotic resistance would endanger surgical and cancer patients.
Stalling Antibiotic Development (03:52)
Transplant patients are especially vulnerable; Kathy has a new kidney and relies on antibiotics to prevent infection. Pharmaceutical companies like GlaskoSmithKline have failed to develop new antibiotic classes since the 1980s. Use must be limited to preserve potency— making research unprofitable.
Bacteria Evolution (02:09)
Microbiologist Laura Piddock shows patient samples of resistant strains. The NHS relies on the carbapenem antibiotic class to treat pneumonia and blood infections— but resistance is growing, partly due to health tourism.
Fighting Antibiotic Resistance in India (02:16)
Poor sanitation and misuse of drugs are contributing to superbugs which spread via air travel. Millions live without clean water; a Ganges tributary is polluted with sewage.
Vulnerable Populations (02:44)
Around 60,000 newborns die in India from drug resistant infections annually. Some antibiotics have become useless in recent years. In an Ahmedaban hospital NICU, carbapenams are ineffective for treating many premature babies.
Drug Resistance in Humans and Animals (03:06)
Indian laws restrict antibiotics sales, but many Delhi pharmacies sell single doses of carbapenems without prescription. U.S. farmers use antibiotics in livestock, partly as growth promoters.
Hope for a New Antibiotic Class (04:23)
Researchers gather soil samples in Boston. Learn about the "iChip" device that has enabled them to identify 25 potential new antibiotics out of 50,000 bacterial strains. Teixobactin could potentially treat MRSA and tuberculosis infections, but has yet to undergo human trials.
Antibiotic Investment Incentives (03:24)
O'Neill urges drug companies to start a $2 billion innovation fund to support research efforts. A GlaskoSmithKline representative agrees there is moral responsibility to address resistant bacteria. Governments, the pharmaceutical industry, and civil society should collaborate to avoid an antibiotic apocalypse.
Credits: Antibiotic Apocalypse (00:47)
Credits: Antibiotic Apocalypse
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