Dame Sally Davies, the Government's Chief Medical Officer, has warned that routine operations could become deadly if the Government does not encourage more innovation in the development of antibiotics.
Professor Nigel Brown, president of the Society for General Microbiology, said:
Professor Dame Sally Davies rightly flags the issue of antimicrobial resistance to be of national and international concern. Urgent action is required by microbiologists and other scientists to identify and produce new antibiotics, and to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance and its transmission.
Professor Christopher Thomas, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Birmingham, added:
While better surveillance, hygiene and restricted use of antibiotics can slow the spread of resistance we also need new ways to kill resistant bacteria or reduce their carriage of resistance genes.
Novel approaches that might have appeared unrealistic a few years ago need to be explored if they hold a chance of helping us tackle this issue.