15 Nov 2011

Canada partners with UK to attack antibiotic resistance

Viruses that are resistant to antibiotics is a growing health concerns for the world, including in Canada. To thwart the threat, the government of Canada is partnering with a United Kingdom-based medical research organization.

"Antibiotic resistance is a serious challenge facing Canadians and our health care system," said Gary Goodyear, minister of state for Science and Technology. "Our government is pleased to support this important collaborative effort to develop new strategies and tools to protect Canadians from antibiotic resistant infections."

In addition to over-the-counter treatments individuals may use from their own medicine storage cabinets, people who are ill often turn to their primary care physician to combat a bacterial infection. However, due to overprescribing of antibiotics, many infections have adapted and become immune to the drugs designed to kill them.

Doreen Cantrell, chair of the immunity infections bard for the UK-based Medical Research Council, said the partnership with Canada's government "will add a new momentum to the work we have been carrying out."

Researchers are hoping the efforts will ultimately result in a better understanding of antibiotic resistance and the development of new medicines that can counteract harmful microorganisms.

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