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Professor Dame Sally Davies, the 16th doctor and first woman to hold the position of chief medical officer, talked to a full audience on the ticking time bomb of antibiotic resistance in the Oxford Martin School public lecture on 2 March.

"The statistics were certainly worrying; one child dies with an antibiotic resistant infection every five minutes in South East Asia, and the 25,000 deaths a year in Europe equal that due to road traffic accidents, yet the last new major class of antibiotics was discovered in 1987. The predicted economic costs of antibiotic resistance will outstrip cancer in the next 40 years. The challenge is all the greater for its huge complexity:  inappropriate prescribing is important, but so is the high rate of antibiotic usage in aquaculture and livestock, and solutions need to be global rather than limited to the UK. Dame Sally discussed the wide variety of approaches needed to begin solving this problem, ranging from molecular to international political agreements. The importance of clinical research in this area has been recognised by Government and funding bodies over the last few years. As a researcher in this field  the lecture was not only a reminder of the massive importance of this topic but also a confirmation that research in this field will be supported and promoted, allowing primary care, which is responsible for the majority of antibiotic prescribing in the UK, to play its part in the work toward a solution."

Written by Dr Gail Hayward PI on the School funded study Treatment Options without Antibiotics for Sore Throat (TOAST)and Academic Clinical Lecturer in the Nuffield Department for Primary Care Health Sciences.  

More information on the event can be found on the Oxford Martin School website: A ticking time bomb: the infectious threat of antibiotic resistance. 

YouTube channel: 

Photos from the evening:  

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