27 October 2017
CATCH is set In a near future where all antibiotics have failed, a father, Tom, and his young daughter, Amy, are quarantined in their house during a lethal pandemic. When Amy gets sick, Tom must make an impossible decision: give her up to the authorities or risk infection himself.
The film acts as a stark warning that we need to preserve antibiotics for as long as possible in the face of growing resistance in bacteria, some of which have adapted to overcome antibiotics. The event on Tuesday 14 November is timed to mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Professor Michael Moore* leads research by NIHR CLAHRC Wessex into reducing the amount of antibiotics that are prescribed unnecessarily. He has been working to introduce a simple finger prick test available at your GP surgery to help doctors identify if antibiotics are appropriate for a chest cold. In one practice near Watford, prescribing nurse Liz Cross has been using the test (C-reactive Protein or CRP) to help with prescribing, and has noticed a significant drop in use. The initial results are exciting, and recently Liz spoke to a committee of MPs in parliament about her work.
In a recent report the World Health Organisation confirmed that the world was running out of effective antibiotics. According to Public Health England, the “UK government considers the threat of antibiotic resistance as seriously as a flu pandemic and major flooding.” If left unchecked, antibiotic resistance could lead to 10 million deaths by 2050 worldwide, costing some £66 trillion.
There is a worldwide effort to try to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics by people and in farming. By reducing the exposure of bacteria to the drug we can act to extend their effectiveness. In America 23,000 people a year die from infections caused by resistant bacteria.
Antibiotics are used medically for many things, in surgery, childbirth, for treating diseases like TB and in cancer treatment. If there were no effective antibiotics millions of people could lose their lives by catching a simple infection.
*Michael Moore is head of group for Primary Care and Population Sciences. The group have a major strand of work on rational use of antibiotics in primary care where three quarters of antibiotics are prescribed. They have published work on the use of near patient tests, clinical scores and just in case prescribing. Their work has influence national guidelines and Professor Moore is now a member of the government advisory board for antibiotic stewardship (APRHAi)
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