Doing your bit
Rebecca Waters discusses the role of dental professionals in fighting antibiotic resistance.
Although understanding of pathogens has advanced considerably in the last few decades, infectious microorganisms are still one of the greatest threats to our health. Pathogens have evolved to resist our best efforts to destroy them, resulting in ‘superbugs’ with antibiotic resistance that present significant healthcare challenges.
Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that can’t be stopped. This process can, however, be slowed, so what can healthcare professionals do to help ensure that this is the case?
The term “superbug” is applied to strains of fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics and other medications that would normally treat any infections they cause.
In the UK, there are a number of superbugs. You’re probably aware of some of the more common of these, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile, and the strains of bacteria responsible for causing multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.