Will we still have antibiotics in 50 years? We asked 7 global experts

Prof Roy Robins-Browne, Dept of Microbiology & Immunology, contributed as a “global expert” to The Conversation article published, “Will we still have antibiotics in 50 years? We asked 7 global experts”.

The World Health Organisation has growing concerns that antimicrobial resistance will deem our current antibiotics useless with increasing resistance to our current products, and there are too few new antibiotics in the making to address this issue.

Seven global experts were asked about their opinion on this issue, with all of them saying that we will still have effective antibiotics in 50 years despite the World Health Organisation’s concern.

Our researcher Prof Roy Robins-Browne believes we will still have antibiotics because people will still get infections despite advances in immunisation and other forms of prevention. Nevertheless, future drugs will differ from those we use today which would make our current ones obsolete in 50 years, as the new drugs will be targeted directly at the specific cause of infection which will be determined by using rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests, like COVID-19 RAT tests. Unlike today’s antibiotics that kill bacteria or limit their growth, future antimicrobials will limit the ability of the bacteria to cause disease or evade our immune systems to discourage the development of resistance.

Read the full article and opinions of the other experts on The Conversation.