Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

Hospital-acquired infections - a ticking bomb?

Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH

Abstract

First made available during the Second World War, antibiotics transformed medical practice significantly. They had a profound impact on the recovery of patients suffering from bacterial infections, and made possible the development of advanced medical procedures. A universal optimism prevailed at the time and the 'war' against bacteria was declared over.
Unfortunately, the euphoria over these 'miracle drugs' has led to their misuse. Bacteria have shown an ability to develop strains resistant to antibiotics. Europe now faces a public health problem that has the potential to reach disastrous levels brought about by:
- A rapid increase in the numbers of resistant bacteria;
- A simultaneous downward trend in the development of new antibiotics; and
- An educational and information hurdle which must be overcome.

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