Ayudas | Better use of antibiotics
This €1 million prize addresses the issue of the unnecessary use of antibiotics, which is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. The challenge is to develop a rapid test that will allow healthcare providers to distinguish at the point of care between patients with upper respiratory tract infections that require antibiotics and those that can be treated safely without antibiotics.
Why this Prize?
Antimicrobial agents – such as antibiotics – have dramatically reduced the number of deaths from infectious diseases since their introduction 70 years ago. However, through overuse and misuse, many micro-organisms have become resistant to them. It is estimated that each year this growing «antimicrobial resistance» (AMR) causes some 25 000 deaths and over €1.5 billion in healthcare expenses and productivity losses in Europe alone.
Upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold, bronchitis and infections of the sinuses, the middle ear and the throat) are a major reason for the prescription of antibiotics, even though many of these infections are due to viruses, where antibiotics are neither effective nor necessary.
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest challenges facing society today and has led to various complementary initiatives such as the European Antibiotic Awareness Day and theLongitude Prize on Antibiotics.
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