Global Threat of Antibiotic Resistance

The world is facing a crisis regarding the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, manifested through the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics to treat common infections. Through the overuse, and misuse, of antibiotics, coupled with a dearth of new antimicrobial therapeutic approaches, growing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are emerging.

This problem has been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national health bodies as a major threat to public health. The WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance published in 2014 stated: “without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.” Dame Sally Davies, the UK government’s chief medical officer described antimicrobial resistance as a “ticking time-bomb”.

To overcome this problems, two approaches have been proposed: (i) a more prudent use of antibiotics, whereby antibiotics are used more effectively, that is, selecting antibiotics which are effective against the infecting bacteria, thus slowing the progression of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms; and (ii) the development of novel anti-microbial therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action, which are both effective against existing resistant microorganisms and which ideally do not allow for a facile emergence of resistance following usage.

Westway Health is leading the charge in the development of novel antimicrobial therapies. These technologies have shown to be a platform in nature, effective against all microorganisms tested, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. Importantly, in lab studies, in contrast to existing antibiotics which bacteria can be readily trained to become resistant to, no resistance has been seen against the Westway Health technologies. This shall allow widespread use of these technologies without the threat of resistant-microorganisms emerging.

Westway Health is developing products and therapies based upon these technologies, in a wide range of applications within Human Health, Animal Health and Environmental Sterilisation.