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Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria mutate and adapt to become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause. Over-use and misuse of antibiotics exacerbate the development of drug resistant bacteria, often called superbugs. Superbug infections – including multi-drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, typhoid and gonorrhoea – kill hundreds of thousands of people a year, and the trend is growing.

Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming. People began using it to treat infections in 1942. Penicillin antibiotics were among the first medications to be effective against many bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci. Penicillin is still widely used today, though many types of bacteria have developed resistance following extensive use.

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