Principal's Lecture: Antibiotic Apocalypse

London A67

A level students were lucky to attend one of the Principal’s Lectures on antibiotics, presented by Dr Victoria Allen, on Monday 9th October. 

Dr Allen began by reminding us about the basic facts on bacterial pathogens and the general effects that antibiotics have, explaining everything in clear terms. She introduced the idea that with antibiotics comes antibiotic resistance and we as humans are responsible for it not only by misusing antibiotics but by exploiting them in agriculture and farming. 

Moreover, due to slowdown in the antibiotic field of pharmacology, which the antibiotic timeline clearly indicates, we have to try to help prevent the mutations of bacteria into resistant strands, which we can do in many simple ways. For example, only take medication when prescribed and always take the full prescription even if symptoms appear to have cleared, sustain good hygiene at all times, etc. 

Policy makers are already trying to educate the public on antibiotic resistance, regulate and promote quality medicine.  Unfortunately, overprescription and lack of hygiene are only some of the many reasons that lead to increasing antibiotic resistance, that correlates to the number of different types of superbugs - fully resistant to antibiotics species, developing, which could mean that even in the near future we might not have the option of turning to antibiotics when we need them. This will change modern medicine as we know it today completely.

Dr Allen’s speech had an overall message that antibiotics are one of the many things we take for granted in our lives and we use them without realising that they are absolutely vital in so many different medical procedures. This is not a fault of one person, but of all of us as a population. 

Ryan Munasinghe
Luba Dzhioeva