Superbugs: why it’s so hard to stop the ‘silent pandemic’

  28 August 2023

In the summer of 2021, researchers at MIT and McMaster University in Canada fed an algorithm 7,000 chemical compounds in the hope that it would identify one that could kill Acinetobacter baumannii.

The pharmaceutical industry and governments are failing to invest enough in replacing the older antibiotics with newer drugs that bacteria aren’t resistant to, risking crises where clinicians — whether they are treating one patient or a pandemic — find the medicine cabinet is in effect bare. 

Technologies such as AI could help combat resistance by cutting the time and cost of the initial phase of drug discovery, while portable genomic sequencing technology could help doctors choose the right antibiotic for each pathogen in the clinic or hospital.

Further reading: Financial Times
Author(s): Hannah Kuchler
Smart Innovations  


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