In order to tackle growing levels of antimicrobial resistance, the challenge set for the Longitude Prize is for a team of researchers to invent an affordable, accurate, fast and easy-to-use test for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time.
Why are we doing this?
On average antibiotics add 20 years to each person’s life. The development of antibiotics has been vital to our survival, yet the rise of antimicrobial resistance is threatening to make them ineffective in the future.
The World Health Organization estimates that antibiotics treatments add an average of 20 years to all of our lives. But in the 80 years since the discovery of penicillin, our overuse of antibiotics has put pressure on bacteria to evolve resistance, leading to the emergence of untreatable superbugs that threaten the basis of modern medicine.
Radical change is needed to address the global problem of growing anti-microbial resistance, to ensure a healthcare system that can sustainably control and treat infections. We cannot outpace microbial evolution. A new broad-spectrum antibiotic, if applied with current methods, would eventually meet new forms of resistance. The overall solution involves a long-term path towards a more intelligent use of antibiotics enabling a future of more effective prevention, targeted treatments and smart clinical decision support systems.
Point-of-care test kits will allow more targeted use of antibiotics, and an overall reduction in misdiagnosis and prescription. Effective and accurate point of care tests will form a vital part of the toolkit for stewardship of antibiotics in the future. This will ensure that the antibiotics we have now will be effective for longer and we can continue to control infections during routine and major procedures.
What are we doing?
Currently we are working with and supporting our competing teams with more opportunities to collaborate within our teams page, a new funding opportunities platform, and we endeavour to help them out along their journey towards the prize.
We also produce regular blogs about antibiotic resistance and the prize written by experts and staff, participate in various events and raise awareness of the issue.
To get involved, write a blog, bring us to your event or register as a team, please get in touch at [email protected].
Our Challenge Prize Centre, launched by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS, now BEIS) in 2012, uses prize-giving initiatives to help solve problems that the business world, social and public sectors have so far either failed to tackle or tackle effectively.
The best ideas can come from anywhere. We think challenge prizes are a great way of inspiring a broad range of people to create innovative solutions to some of our most pressing problems. Browse the challenge prizes.
Join the conversation
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