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ANTIBIOTICS (from the series LABYRINT)

VPRO  The Netherlands

This film from the series Labyrint, which aims to bring issues in science and technology to the fore, looks at what is potentially a new era in medicine. But not in a positive sense. It is over seventy years since penicillin was discovered and the use of different antibiotics has transformed the treatment of infections across the  globe. But two things have changed. Firstly bacteria are starting to fight back, diminishing the effectiveness of a number of antibiotics; and for the industrial producers of these drugs profit margins have shrunk so that new antibiotics are not as plentiful as might have been anticipated. This report reveals both the nature and potential scale of the emerging problem,

One culprit is the so-called resistant gram-negative bacteria, which belong to the natural intestinal flora. Resistant variants produce specific proteins that make most modern antibiotics ineffective. The sense of this story is that there are many more chapters yet to come.

Writer/Director:     Karin Schagen

Producers: Judith van den Berg, Nicole Cremers 

ANTIBIOTICS is being shown as part of the 2012 European Science TV and New Media Festival at 11:10 on Saturday 14th July 2012. A full festival programme can be found here.