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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Antibiotics has been available for most part of the world for 70 years. And it has been instrumental in saving millions and millions of life and still are doing so. We can also say, as you see in this first slide, that antibiotics are the pillars, the cornerstones of all medicine. All health systems are relying on the effective antibiotics. First of all, the basic infections that are occurring in society, like blood infections, wound infections, urinary tract infections. But also maternal and child health. And lastly, all of modern medicine is building, transplants, organ transplants, and cancer treatment is building on the availability of effective antibiotics. Over the years, the pharmaceutical industry has delivered more and more antibiotics.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds But as you can see in this slide, we have what we can call a failed model. We have new antibiotics. They’re marketed. They’re overconsumed and misused. And this leads to antibiotic resistance. This is really dangerous. And again, going back to the pyramid of health built on antibiotics, this is like a tsunami. Antibiotic assistance is spoiling, potentially, all what we have gained in the world with the use of antibiotics. So what can we do about that? Well, first of all, we have to realise this is not only a health problem. The consequences of antibiotic resistance moves far beyond health. If we’re not healthy, we cannot work, that will be a problem with labour.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds And also at the end, the economy of the society of the individuals, and in fact gross national products. I would say that we in fact might reach a very serious tipping point here. If we look at antibiotic resistance and the resource that antibiotics gives us, we can make the analogy to climate change. We have failed to preserve this resource, and we have also failed to renew it. So if we’re unlucky, the world might fall back in something we could call the post-antibiotic era. To counteract that, all of society, individuals, society, governments, the private sector, need to collaborate to prevent this from happening. We need to come back to balance.

Skip to 2 minutes and 31 seconds We need to find a way to balance access and excess and availability of antibiotics and rational use of these very, very valuable medicines. I hope that you will learn from this course the complexity of this issue. And I will get back to at the end of the course to sum up what actors need to be responsible and what could be done to save the world from this crisis. Thank you.

Has Fleming's warning been ignored?

Watch professor Otto Cars explaining why antibiotic resistance is no longer a prediction for the future but is happening right now, in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone.

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This video is from the free online course:

Antibiotic Resistance: the Silent Tsunami

Uppsala University