Antibiotics are widely used in society, but often misused. Medical microbiologist Kees Verduin discusses the future of antibiotics and the possible threat of antibiotic resistance
The first antibiotic, penicillin, was accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Since then antibiotics have been an effective treatment for various bacterial infections. A major disadvantage of antibiotics is that bacteria can become resistant to them. Doctors therefore need to be reluctant to prescribe antibiotics, as the more often you use antibiotics, the greater the risk that bacteria will become resistant. In some countries, however, antibiotics are widely used and in many cases misused. Is antibiotic resistance about to become a global threat?
Dr. Kees Verduin works as a medical-microbiology consultant at PAMM laboratories in Veldhoven. He advises doctors and hospitals on how to diagnose patients, what antibiotics to use and how to prevent infections. He is also a board member of the Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy (SWAB).