Publication / Source: Infectious Diseases Hub
Authors: Lucy L. Furfaro (University of Western Australia, Perth)
Antibiotics have saved millions of people from bacterial infections and vastly improved quality of life globally – so much so, that their use is increasing to the point where resistance has become a real and pressing issue in modern medicine .
The rise of what have been deemed ‘super-bugs’ has led to a critical reflection on our practices and where we should be going in the future. For example, the broad-spectrum nature of most antibiotics has its pros and cons – in one respect an ensuing unknown infection can be treated rapidly by giving a wide-reaching agent, but similarly the collateral damage on the other beneficial bacteria can lead to further issues later .
Group B Streptococcus, a major cause of sepsis in babies
The focus of my research is on an organism that is a leading cause of sepsis in new-borns, Group B Streptococcus (GBS). Its opportunistic nature means that it colonizes healthy individuals with no effect on their health in most, yet any compromised immune status can lead to devastating infection. In light of this, the populations impacted most severely are elderly, immunocompromised individuals and neonates .