Small details of antibiotic resistance under the microscope at World Microbiome Day
Scientists from the Science Foundation Ireland-backed research centre APC Microbiome Ireland based in UCC are calling for action against the global threat of antibiotic resistance on World Microbiome Day today.
Antibiotics have been the weapon of choice for treating bacterial infections for the last 80 years and have saved an estimated 200 million lives since their discovery. However, an over-reliance on antibiotic medicines has made them less effective over time.
Initiated last year by APC, World Microbiome Day showcases the diverse worlds of microbiomes and encourages public dialogue on the crucial importance of microbiomes to human, animal and environmental health.
The microbiome is the community of micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in the gut and skin.
“The message from the World Health Organisation is clear, we need to be more prudent with our use of antibiotics, which should only ever be used to treat bacterial infections when prescribed by a doctor and not used beyond the length of the intended course”, said a statement from APC.
“The spread of infections can be minimised by regular handwashing, hygienic preparation of food and by keeping up to date with vaccinations.
“Antibiotic resistance can only be addressed by co-ordinated and sustained action on an international scale.”
APC recently celebrated 15 years in operation, and recently published a new report Mining Microbes for Mankind – 15 years of Impact, produced in tandem with Cork University Business School, outlining the impact of APC’s research on society and on the Irish economy.
The centre has made several landmark discoveries and has published more than 2,500 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, generating many journal covers and associated editorials.