The world is on the cusp of another potential medical emergency. Resistance Fighters investigates the global antibiotics crisis and explains how we got here. It reveals how negligence, greed, and short-sightedness have rendered the lifesaving effects of antibiotics powerless. And without the research and development of new antibiotics, we may be left with nothing to fight the superbugs which threaten the health of everyone on earth.
Experts have called it a “slow-motion tsunami.” The United Nations and representatives from governments around the world have placed it at the top of their agenda. Drug-resistant bacteria – pathogens resistant to all available antibiotics – kill 700,000 people worldwide each year. According to some, if nothing is done, by 2050, as many as 10 million people could die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections. The economic fallout over the next 35 years is predicted to reach one hundred trillion dollars.
Since mass-production in the 1940s, antibiotics have been nothing less than miraculous, saving countless lives and revolutionizing modern medicine. It’s virtually impossible to imagine hospitals or healthcare without them. A world without antibiotics would be very different from the world we live in today. As in the 19th century, masses of people would die from the most superficial infections, lifesaving operations, and the treatment of serious diseases would no longer be feasible because of the consequential risks.
But after years of abuse and mismanagement by the medical and agricultural communities, superbugs have become resistant to all available antibiotics and are putting the world at risk. How did this happen, and what can we do? Resistance Fighters hears from the people searching for answers at the centre of the crisis – disillusioned, fighting doctors, rebellious scientists, patients wrestling with life-threatening diseases and diplomats searching for a global solution. It demonstrates how the problem has been known but ignored for decades. It shows how the mass use of antibiotics in animal fattening has led to the uncontrolled release of resistant germs into the environment, and how, at the same time, well-known companies are continuously withdrawing from antibiotics research because immense development costs and increasing resistance to new antibiotics make their business unfeasible.
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