A growing number of infections worldwide are caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics - and ever fewer effective antibiotics are available. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat infected patients successfully. In the statement, "Antibiotic Research: Problems and Perspectives", which was published today, the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina list eight recommendations that show ways to prevent the further spread of antibiotic resistance and to develop urgently needed antibiotics.
"This development is a cause for grave concern. Our statement focuses on the contribution by research and on the necessary parameters in society," said Prof. Ansgar W. Lohse, spokesperson for the Working Group on Infection Research and Society at the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg. "We need genuine incentives for new and more intensive antibiotic research so we can develop medications more quickly," he added.
"This field is a task for society as a whole," said Prof. Jörg Hacker, President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. "Society does not only need greater research efforts and a faster translation of the findings into applications, but also dialogue on how antibiotics can be used responsibly and on how resistance can be prevented. We are setting up a round table on this topic and will invite all the relevant partners to join it."
According to the WHO, the global occurrence of antibiotic resistance poses one of the greatest threats to human health. It is estimated that around 25,000 patients die each year in the EU alone from an infection with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
The statement containing a summary and the recommendations can be downloaded at http://www.leopoldina.org/en/publications/detailview/?publication[publication]=475&cHash=1883f73140e3cc069425f3e234281083
The full text is freely accessible as an eBook at: http://www.
The statement is available in a booklet called "Antibiotika-Forschung: Probleme und Perspektiven" ("Antibiotic Research: Problems and Perspectives"). Statement by the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Berlin (De Gruyter) 2013, (Papers by the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg 2), 77 pages, €29.95, ISBN 978-3-11-030667-5. Please note that the booklet is currently only available in German, but will shortly be translated into English.
Members of the working group will present the statement to the public at 7 p.m. this evening, 28 January 2013, in Hamburg. The panel members are Prof. Jörg Hacker, President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina; Prof. Ansgar W. Lohse, spokesperson for the Working Group on Infection Research and Society, Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg; Prof. Stefan Schwarz, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut Neustadt-Mariensee; and Prof. Werner Solbach, Director of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein. The discussion will be chaired by Vera Cordes (NDR). Venue: Baseler Hof Säle, Esplanade 15, 20354 Hamburg.
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Members of the Academy of Science and Humanities in Hamburg are scholars of all academic disciplines from northern Germany. As a working academy, it aims to intensify interdisciplinary research and collaboration between universities and other scientific institutions and to stimulate dialogue between scholars and the public. www.awhamburg.de
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina brings together the expertise of some 1,500 distinguished scientists to bear on questions of social and political relevance, publishing unbiased and timely scientific opinions. The Leopoldina represents the German scientific community in international committees and pursues the advancement of science for the benefit of humankind and for a better future. www.leopoldina.org
Joint press release by the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina