Use Covid-style testing to wage war on superbugs, experts say

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AMR kills 1.27 million people worldwide each year and overprescription is a major problem.

Official UK data from this week shows that the number of superbug infections in England is on the rise, with around 54,000 cases in 2021, a 2.2 per cent increase from 2020, and equivalent to 148 serious antibiotic-resistant infections per day last year.

The government has now launched a consultation to determine how to focus the UK’s efforts on AMR over the next five years.

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Clinical trial launched

The University of Bristol this week launched a clinical trial called ‘Rapid-Test’ to try and find a viable test that could give a result in less than an hour.

Professor Alastair Hay, a GP and principal investigator on the project at the University of Bristol, said cost, accuracy and precision are key aspects of the study.

“We will consider all of these factors in this study and also see if using rapid point-of-care testing helps patients feel better faster,” he said.

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“If the tests prove to be effective in reducing antibiotic prescriptions, we will conduct further research into their cost-effectiveness.”

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