By Pankaj Dhaka and J.S. Bedi The discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin by Alexander Fleming in the year 1928 spawned the antibiotics era in the infectious disease treatment paradigm, wherein experts rightly described antibiotics as a "miracle drug". The world before the discovery of antibiotics was so vulnerable to infections that even a minor cut … Continue reading Antimicrobial Resistance: We MUST discuss it, we MUST stop it
Philip Mathew is a public health researcher and currently AMR advisor at The International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions. Philip also served as a consultant at the ReAct Asia Pacific, a global network dedicated to tackling the problem of antibiotic resistance. ReAct was one of the first international networks to articulate the complex nature of antibiotic resistance and advocates for the need for multidisciplinary and multisectoral collaborations in addressing it. Philip recently spearheaded a consultation meeting with a diverse set of stakeholders including, Superheroes Against Superbugs, on the feasibility of a State Action Plan on AMR in Telangana. In this interview, Philip takes us through various ways in which ReAct is spreading awareness and promoting community and policy action to address the growing problem of AMR in India and globally.
The development of new antimicrobials and other biomedical interventions alone will not be enough to fight AMR, controlling Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) will be key. Uma Bala Pamidimukkala plays the role of a Superbugs Inspector in a city hospital. She is an Additional Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, where her work involves the identification of disease-causing microorganisms and providing information to doctors on whether or not these pathogens are susceptible to antimicrobials. This in turn helps doctors to optimise treatment and in avoiding inappropriate use of antimicrobials. Uma Bala is also a part of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme that organizes different workshops to spread awareness on the different aspects of infection, disease control and its prevention to ensure infections, including AMR infections, do not escape into the environment. In this interview, Uma Bala shares her experience of working in public hospitals that are proven to be hubs for HAIs and AMR infections and talks about the various challenges that one faces stopping the spread of AMR in these settings.
Suman Kapur and her team based at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad, have developed a unique device called RightBiotic that rapidly identifies antibiotic sensitivity of pathogens found in human Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and helps a medical professional identify the right kind of antibiotics to use to treat the infection. For her efforts, Suman has received the All-India Women Entrepreneur Award 2021 in the category of Super Achiever by the Delhi Management Association. She was also recognized as one of 100 Women Achievers by the President of India in 2015. The RightBiotic team was awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award in 2015. In this interview, Suman takes us through the science behind RightBiotic and why it is an effective biomedical tool to control the rise of superbugs.
Click here to read our comic compilation Sharad Sharma and Sarah Iqbal | India is at the forefront of the global epidemic of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Studies estimate that 58,000 newborns in India die each year due to infections caused by resistant superbugs. There are currently 700,000 deaths worldwide due to antibiotic resistance (a subset … Continue reading Grassroots Comics on Antibiotic Resistance
Somdatta Karak | Are bacteria and viruses very different? Are we at war with microbes? Are all microbes evolving ways to infect and kill us? Too tiny to be seen, microbes seem to lead mysterious lives. Let’s explore some common myths around them in this e-booklet. This e-booklet was originally published in the iWonder magazine of … Continue reading Common myths about microbes
This interview was originally published by Battle Superbugs. Children can change the world! So that’s why we were excited to meet the creators of Superheroes Against Superbugs, a program in India that aims to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and superbugs and change behavior through comic books designed by children. Superheroes Against Superbugs was developed in … Continue reading 5 Questions with Superheroes Against Superbugs
Somdatta Karak and Disha Chauhan | Many antibiotics work by inhibiting cell wall formation in bacteria. But in a bid to survive as most other living organisms, bacteria mutate and evolve into antibiotic-resistant superbugs. In this zine by Somdatta Karak (words) and Disha Chauhan (art), learn about how Dr Manjula Reddy and her team's research … Continue reading Mapping bacterial growth to fight superbugs