Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsHi, and welcome to this course 'Antibiotic Resistance: the Silent Tsunami'. We're so glad that you are here. We're standing in the Gustavianum building at Uppsala University which houses this spectacular anatomical theatre. It was built in the 17th century, almost 300 years before the discovery of penicillin. At that time, people often died from common infections. Some of them would end up at the dissecting table behind me which was used as a demonstration facility in the training of medical students. But sometimes, a paying audience was also welcomed to watch. This course, however, is free of charge.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsIt aims at anyone interested in antibiotic resistance, regardless if you're a complete beginner, or already an expert in this field who wants to broaden your perspectives. We'll bring up many different aspects on this issue, ranging from basic microbiology to challenges in clinical practise, innovation of antibiotics, business models, and the situation in low-income countries. To enhance your learning, we have gathered a group of experts in this field, all working at Uppsala University. Your key learning will come from participating in the various weekly activities, such as video lectures, quizzes, surveys, readings, et cetera. Also, from time to time throughout the course, you'll find the discussion forums.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 secondsWe encourage you to take a moment to reflect and to share your thoughts with your fellow learners. At the end of this course, we've invited some of our teachers to take part in a panel discussion. All of them has a unique perspective on antibiotic resistance that we really think you'll benefit from hearing. So welcome to Week 1. Let's begin.

Welcome to the course

Watch Thomas and Saga introduce the course and talk more about what you’re going to learn and how you’ll go about learning it.

Why learn about antibiotic resistance?

Today we also see an alarming increase in new bacterial strains resistant to several antibiotics at the same time (known as multidrug-resistant bacteria or superbugs). Such bacteria may eventually become resistant to all existing antibiotics and we will then be entering the post-antibiotic era.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in antibiotic resistance, no matter if you are a member of the public, a student, a health professional or any other expert.

Our focus is to provide an overview of antibiotic resistance from several different angles. An important aim is to give an understanding of the mechanisms behind the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance worldwide, but also what the society, and you as an individual, can do to control and prevent further emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

So which areas will be covered the future weeks?

  • Introduction and historical background of bacteria, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance
  • Mechanisms behind emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance
  • Medical and economic consequences of antibiotic resistance
  • Antibiotic resistance in the media
  • Experiences from the field
  • Management, control and prevention of antibiotic resistance
  • Lack of new antibiotics, diagnostic tools and global surveillance data
  • New business models to incentivise development of new antibiotics or alternatives and preservation of existing drugs
  • Access and excess to antibiotics in low- and middle-income countries
  • Challenges and responses of antibiotic resistance, including examples of ongoing initiatives
  • What you can do as an individual

Weekly activities

Each section of this course focuses on specific areas and includes a set of weekly activities. We put great emphasis on interactivity and do encourage you to take advantage of the full course.

Videos lectures and a panel discussion

Video lectures are the primary method by which the educators are teaching this course. Each week consists of 1 to 3 video lectures, where you have the option to either stream or download them (standard or HD). Transcripts and subtitles are available for all videos. In the last week of the course, we’ll wrap up with a recorded panel discussion where our experts on antibiotic resistance will participate.


The short interactive quizzes are primarily for training purposes and do not count towards your course score. You may take as many attempts as you wish to answer each question and there is no time limit associated to the quizzes. You can also skip questions and come back to them later if you wish.

Further readings

An important starting-point in the development of this course was to ensure that the educational experience was beneficial to all participants regardless of their level of expertise. Under the subtitle Find out more, at the end of relevant Steps, learners who may have more knowledge and experience with antibiotic resistance, or those who wish to challenge themselves, can look at the further readings. Here you’ll find a mixture of journal articles, factsheets, links, and multimedia resources available for you to tap into, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and wherever you are.

Join the conversation

Learning through this course should be a social activity. Use the hashtag #FLantibioticresistance on twitter to stay informed of course-related news and events, and to keep in touch with your fellow learners.

Ask us anything

The people behind this course (see upcoming step Meet the course team are all committed to make this an enjoyable educative experience for you. Don’t hesitate to post comments and ask questions on the course material by clicking on the pink speech bubble icon. If you would like to address questions to FutureLearn, click on the “Support” button at the bottom right-hand side. At the end of Week 2, we’ll ask for your feedback of the course so far. We value your input, suggestions and ideas!

Mark as Complete

When you reach the end of a step, click the pink “Mark as Complete”-button at the bottom. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your To Do list.

The next step will take you to a short guide on how to use FutureLearn.

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Antibiotic Resistance: the Silent Tsunami

Uppsala University