On 26th September, the United Nations General Assembly held its first ever High Level Meeting on Ending TB. This is the second UN General Assembly in 2 years to focus on an infectious disease issue, the earlier event being on antimicrobial resistance in 2016. One of the reasons for the meeting was that even though […]

While preparing for a recent talk, I did a brief search for articles on bacterial antibiotic resistance prior to the development of modern day antibiotics. We understand that bacteria predate humans by a few billion years, and many of today’s antibiotics are derived from molecules made by fungi (i.e. penicillin and cephalosporins) and soil bacteria […]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been visibly busy this month in the area of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The agency released a report on the global pipeline of new antibiotics (including anti-tuberculosis drugs) on 19th September. It can be downloaded here. There is also a new infographic on what WHO considers priority pathogens in addition […]

The World Health Organization (WHO) published its first ever list of drug-resistant bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed 2 days ago. The list is divided into 3 priority categories: “critical”, “high” and “medium”, based on a series of criteria that included (and I quote ad verbatim) “how deadly the infections they cause are; […]

It was both a surprise and an honour to be invited for the lecture organised by the Science and Innovation Team of the British High Commission. Prof Sally Davies has been UK’s chief medical officer (equivalent in rank to permanent secretary in the civil service) since 2010, the first woman to attain that position. The […]

Dengvaxia (CYD-TDV) – the first licensed dengue vaccine – is a quadrivalent live attenuated chimeric dengue vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur. An attenuated yellow fever virus forms the backbone of the vaccine, with dengue structural proteins attached (the chimera). It has just been licensed in Singapore, and is approved for use in those between the ages […]

The annual European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is going on now at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, and will end on 12th April. This meeting has grown from strength to strength, and now has more than 11,000 attendees each year.       Attending the session on individualised management of invasive […]

A short summary of the current dilemma with antibiotic development. Others, including the World Health Organization and Infectious Diseases Society of America, have expressed this issue more elegantly and in greater detail (click on the links to check out), but it bears repeating: Drug discovery is tough. Discovering or creating a new (i.e. novel class of antibiotics) antibiotic […]

I have finally had the chance to read the Nature article (behind a pay wall) that has been making waves in the recent news, including the Guardian, Forbes and Bloomberg among others. The authors, who are from academic institutions in the USA (Boston) and Germany (Bonn), as well as a drug discovery company from the UK (Selcia, Ongar, […]