Perspectives

Antimicrobial resistance: A major threat to public health

Credit: Wellcome Images

W. L. Hamilton and R. Wenlock
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is an increasing problem in the treatment of many pathogenic microorganisms, and can be intrinsic to the pathogen or acquired. Here, we provide an overview of the causes and consequences of AMR using illustrations from bacterial species that have a major impact on UK healthcare, such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Extended-Spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organisms, and Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). Bacteria can quickly evolve AMR due to short generation times allowing rapid evolutionary change, and horizontal transfer of genetic material between strains. The resulting arms race between bacterial evolution and human pharmaceuticals is one that modern medicine is currently losing, with potentially disastrous consequences for patient outcomes, public health, and healthcare macroeconomics.

Patient Information: One Approach Fits All?

R. Price, R. Gilhespy, K. Hartop, S. Jack, E. Simpson and A. Stillie
The evolution of healthcare spans centuries and reflects the way in which new knowledge has been applied and subsequently integrated into medical practice. There has been a distinct shift towards a mutualistic approach to delivering healthcare. Physicians must address increasingly complex patient expectations and ensure that patients understand their medical conditions. Providing solely verbal information has long been recognised to result in poor patient recall1, however identifying and developing a model to ensure the effective delivery of medical information is proving more challenging. Can one approach fit all?

Fatigue: let's talk about it

R. L. Lambson
Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a debilitating condition characterised by intense long-lasting fatigue and affects 0.2-2% UK population. In addition, a more significant burden to UK health is the fatigue is commonly associated with many chronic diseases. Over 17.5 million people within the UK currently suffer with a chronic disease (1), a figure which is set to rise with the aging population. Those with an attributable cause for their fatigue, such as chronic diseases, are unable to access NHS CFS services. Despite this, NHS services dedicated to the fatigue occurring outside CFS/ME are lacking. This leaves many people without the support and access to the multidisciplinary team that they need.

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