This year the UEA supported a Science Museum exhibition that put the spotlight on antibiotic resistance.
‘Superbugs: The Fight For Our Lives’ opened on 9 November 2017 and explored humanity’s response to the unprecedented global threat of antibiotic resistance. Today superbugs kill almost 700,000 people a year globally and by 2050 this could rise to 30 million. Examining antibiotic resistance at the global, human and microscopic scale, this exhibition features remarkable scientific discoveries from across the globe and reveals the personal stories of those waging war on superbugs.
The exhibition features leafcutter ants that Prof Matt Hutchings' group from UEA’s School of Biology are studying. The ants farm their own natural antibiotics which are used to protect themselves and their nest, from bacteria that grow on their bodies. Antibiotics produced by this bacteria can kill superbugs such as MRSA, without MRSA developing resistance to them. There is the hope they can be developed for future drug use.