Reversing antibiotic resistance? Here’s how Sweden is doing it

Dr Mina Bakhit, Prof Chris Del Mar, & Helena Kornfält Isberg, MD

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Dr Mina Bakhit, Prof Chris Del Mar, & Helena Kornfält Isberg, MD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Bond University | Professor of Public Health, Bond University | General practitioner, PhD-student, Lund University

The antibiotic resistance threat is real. In the years to come, we will no longer be able to treat and cure many infections we once could.

We’ve had no new classes of antibiotics in decades, and the development pipeline is largely dry. Each time we use antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies become more resistant to the few antibiotics we still have.

The problem seems clear and the solution obvious: to prescribe our precious antibiotics only when absolutely needed. Implementing this nationally is not an easy task. But Australia could take cues from other countries making significant progress in this area, such as Sweden.

The Swedish example

Antibiotic use was rising steadily in Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s, causing an increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria. A group of doctors mobilised to tackle this threat, and brought together peak bodies across pharmaceuticals, infectious diseases and other relevant areas to form a national coalition.

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Dr Mina Bakhit, Prof Chris Del Mar, & Helena Kornfält Isberg, MD

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Dr Mina Bakhit, Prof Chris Del Mar, & Helena Kornfält Isberg, MD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Bond University | Professor of Public Health, Bond University | General practitioner, PhD-student, Lund University

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