Drug resistance

Petri dish with bacteria

Conor Macauley

BBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent

It aims to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance, where superbugs become immune to the drugs.

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Diagnosis device 'could halve antibiotic use'

BBC Spotlight

A Plymouth scientist is developing a test to help doctors decide whether a patient really needs antibiotics.

Microbiologist Dr Tina Joshi is working on a device to speed up the diagnosis time for bugs and recommend treatments.

She says it could halve the number of antibiotics being prescribed.

Antibiotic tablet
Getty Images

When antibiotics were introduced in the 1940s, they were hailed as a "wonder drug".

But there are major concerns that over-prescription has led to increasing resistance to treatments.

Dr Joshi says in the last 70 years there have been no changes in diagnosis techniques...

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University of Plymouth firm developing new antibiotics

Del Crookes

BBC News Online

A company launched by the University of Plymouth is developing new drugs which are not resistant to antibiotics.

Amprologix's first product is expected to be a cream containing epidermicin, which can kill harmful bacteria including MRSA, Streptococcus and Enterococcus.

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A UK government review three years ago estimated that by 2050, drug resistant infections will cause 10 million deaths a year.

It is estimated that there are 5,000 deaths each year at the moment because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

No new classes of antibiotics have been introduced into clinical use for the past 30 years.

The World Health Organisation warned in February this year that 'antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today', so to have this company established is the next step to helping tackle the problem."

Professor Mathew UptonChief scientific officer of Amprologix