The theme of Biomedical Science Day 2018 is Antibiotic Resistance.
This is a growing problem throughout the world as we fight ever evolving infections. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics exacerbates this problem. This is a problem when they are used inappropriately for viral infections or to mask poor animal husbandry in agriculture.
The time when every new antibiotic produced was used for all infections must pass. Antibiotics should only be used when there is evidence of infection which has been identified and susceptibility established.
Biomedical Scientists are essential to win this war. Modern methods in microbiology allow us to rapidly screen for resistant organisms in our vulnerable hospital populations and to ensure infection control strategies can be implemented early.
Using Biomedical Scientists in infection surveillance roles, within a multidisciplinary infection control team of Microbiologist, Pharmacist and Nurses is yet another example of our role as Diagnostic Partner. We can ensure that the antibiotic of choice is the one reported and reserve the 2nd and 3rd line antibiotics for where they are needed.
This winter, in my hospital, the introduction of rapid molecular tests for flu reduced antibiotic consumption in our pregnant population by 50%.