• Question: I’ve heard about these super bugs that are immune to antibiotics but I was wondering if there was a way to stop them

    Asked by Xx Ali Hugh xX to Ted, S. S., Laura, Kevin, Ellen, Andrea on 6 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Kevin OBrien

      Kevin OBrien answered on 6 Mar 2019:

      There is no easy way to do them, but done things that can help.
      Taking antibiotics to treat viruses like cold and flu can allow AMR or ABR (anti microbial/biotic resistant) bacteria to develop.
      Similar, not completing a course of antibiotics might not kill of all of the bacterial, showing them to develop resistance.
      Our company makes a system to analyse samples from patients and determine the optimum treatment and dosage required to treat the condition. This helps in the fight against superbugs.
      The “10 things to know about” program on RTE recently did an episode on Superbugs.

    • Photo: Ellen Simmons

      Ellen Simmons answered on 6 Mar 2019:

      What Kevin said! Your doctor can tell you exactly how to take antibiotics (or not) and if you and your family take care to be responsible with them, then you’re less likely to develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria within you.

    • Photo: Andrea Pacheco

      Andrea Pacheco answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      We definitely need to abuse antibiotics to treat human and animal disease, they should be used when strictly necessary.
      Have you heard from bacteriophage? (https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/biology-of-viruses/virus-biology/a/bacteriophages) this might be one of the ways to solve the challenge of our resistance to antibiotics.

    • Photo: Ted Burke

      Ted Burke answered on 11 Mar 2019:

      Cool answer from Andrea about the bacteriophages! I agree with the others too about responsible use of antibiotics. Another important weapon in the fight against superbugs is good infection control in hospitals and other healthcare settings. When people are in hospital, their body and its immune system can be in a weakened state which makes them vulnerable to picking up infections. Once the infection takes hold, it’s difficult to treat if antibiotics aren’t effective, so it’s important to prevent people being exposed to them. That means thorough cleaning of surfaces, textiles, door handles, etc. in the patient’s environment. Staff and visitors must follow hand-washing or hand-sanitising guidelines too, since that’s one of the ways that bugs can spread around. Testing for the presence of superbugs can help too, so that hospitals know if their current processes are being effective.