The world is heading for a "post-antibiotic age" that threatens a "global health crisis" , the head of a leading medical charity has warned.
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust said the problem arose from "drug-resistant bacteria, viruses and parasites".
"It threatens not only our ability to treat deadly infections, but almost every aspect of modern medicine: from cancer treatment to Caesarean sections, therapies that save thousands of lives every day rely on antibiotics that could soon be lost, " he warned.
Mr Farrar warned that not enough new drugs are being developed to replace ones that are no longer efffective.
At the same time he welcomed a new initiative, backed by David Cameron, to set up an international panel looking at how best to facilitate the development of new treatments.