“It’s expected that by 2050, superbug infections will kill more people than cancer”
TEDxBristol 2019 #ReflectRethinkReboot was all about taking moments to honestly on where we are at with some of humanity’s biggest challenges, Rethink how we approach them and Reboot right now with tangible, actionable change.
In November 2019, Neciah Dorh joined an inspiring group of trailblazers and innovators to highlight the role diagnostics play in the hidden war against antibiotic resistance.
What if we could diagnose infections in minutes, not days?
Already 0.01% of the global population are killed each year by superbugs, in context that’s 700,000 people: equivalent to the combined population of Bristol, Bath and Exeter. This number is expected to rise to 10 million people a year by 2050 meaning superbug infections will be responsible for more deaths than cancer.
So what is a superbug?
A superbug is a name given to a group of bacteria that cannot be treated and are ‘resistant’ to a conventional antibiotic treatment. Without effective antimicrobials to prevent and treat infections, we encounter a much greater risk as individuals and as a wider community. For most of us this could mean a previously routine infection becomes a long and debilitating illness but for those who are already experiencing complex illnesses (organ transplants, cancer patients, the elderly) this could mean an irreversible decline in wellbeing and the premature loss of our nearest and dearest.
What happened to penicillin?
With the discovery of penicillin in 1943, we experienced a revolution in the way we treat bacterial infections. The average life expectancy nearly doubled, and we became comfortable in the knowledge that we would always be able to rely on a visit to a GP and receive a 3-day short course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, we became victims of our own success, despite the boon of new antibiotic classes between 1960 and 1980 our frequent use and inconsistent stewardship of these resources began selecting for a new class of bacterial strain- the superbug.
What can FluoretiQ do?
Even with new drugs under development, the only way to safeguard the future is to develop the right diagnostic tools to allows us to quickly identify bacteria at the point of consultation.
Here at FluoretiQ we are developing NANOPLEX™– a rapid diagnostic platform to identify and enumerate bacterial pathogens in 15 minutes. By offering essential information to the clinician 200x faster at the point of care, we enable clinicians to make informed decisions to treat or not treat a patient with antibiotics. Our platform ensures that we optimise the use of our existing drugs and buy time for our counterparts in drug discovery to continue our fight against superbugs.
Our experience at TEDxBristol: 2019
We would like to personally thank the organisers, speakers and volunteers of TEDxBristol for their help and support.