11 Jul 2015

New antibiotics

From This Way Up, 12:30 pm on 11 July 2015

Yellow petri dish

The problem of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and the race to find more effective drugs to kill them off has emerged as a health issue that confronts us all.

A report from the World Health Organization in 2014 identified antibiotic resistance as a "major global threat" to public health in all parts of the world, as the BBC reports.

But what if the next generation of antibiotics had already been discovered and we just didn't know about them yet?

That's the idea behind the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery based at The University of Queensland. Instead of going the conventional route of research and drug development to find new antibiotics, it wants people to send in all their unused compounds from all over the world for testing.

Professor Matt Cooper is the director of CO-ADD who's based at The University of Queensland.