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Academies urge new measures against drug-resistant bacteria


Fewer and fewer antibiotics are available for an increasing number of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat infected patients successfully. The Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina addressed this issue in their joint statement, "Antibiotics Research: Problems and Perspectives" in January 2013. The paper is now available in English, just in time when the topic is on the agenda of the G8 summit. The academies 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 Professor 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 Professor 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."

The Leopoldina recently called on the heads of state and government of the G8 member states to focus their attention on the topic of drug-resistant infectious agents. In partnership with other academies the Leopoldina provided the statement "Drug Resistance in Infectious Agents - A Global Threat to Humanity" which was handed to the participating governments in order to be incorporated into the negotiations of the G8 summit which starts today in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.

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.


You can download the full statement "Antibiotics Research: Problems and Perspectives" at:[publication]=475&cHash=1883f73140e3cc069425f3e234281083

The G-Science-Statement "Drug Resistance in Infectious Agents - A Global Threat to Humanity" is available here:

For press enquiries, please contact:

Dr Elke Senne
Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg
Press and Public Relations
Tel: + 49 (0) 40 42 94 86 69 20, e-mail:

Caroline Wichmann
German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Head of Press and Public Relations
Tel: +49 (0) 345 472 39 800, e-mail:

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.

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.

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