Segments in this Video

Precious Medical Resource (02:50)


Thanks to antibiotics, humans have extended lifespans by decades. Bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. The potency of antibiotic medicines could be forever lost.

Parody of Antibiotics (03:45)

In the 1930s and before, bacterial infections killed almost half of the human population. Bacteria naturally develop resistance to antibiotics and are able to share genetic material with one another.

Resistance Fighter (03:25)

Australian Dr. Kate Clezy says that up to 50 percent of the antibiotics used in hospitals are unnecessary. Overuse of antibiotics is detrimental to the future of medicine. Antimicrobial resistance is expected to kill 10 million people worldwide by 2050.

Transferring Bacterial Resistance (02:57)

Large numbers of animals confined in small spaces like feedlots, pigs in particular, creates an environment similar to that of a hospital where diseases spread easily. Antibiotic resistance happens quickly and certain bacteria can transfer it to other species.

Superbugs and Infections (03:46)

Horses carry antibiotic resistant strains of bacterial diseases that can be transferred from horses to people and back again. People who consumed meat that contained resistant strains then adopted these resistant strains.

Lack of Testing Requirements (01:36)

Imported fresh foods in Australia, like tiger prawns, are often imported from Asia. Mary Barton would not purchase such imports for her family because of the possibility they are tainted with antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Only five percent of imported seafood is checked.

Environmental Contaminants (03:24)

By adding manure he purchased from the side of the road to his gardens, Mark Horstman may be adding antibiotic resistant genes of bacteria to his family's garden. In Australia, antibiotics leak from sewage systems and drains into streams, creating resistant genes in the environment.

Economics of Antibiotics (02:57)

Matt Cooper is crowd-sourcing compounds to create new antibiotics in order to find a solution to the superbug problem. Viruses are being used to kill bacteria that antibiotics cannot kill.

Hunting Down Bacteria (02:00)

A human phage trial is taking place in Adelaide, Australia; the goal is to alleviate the suffering of people with chronic sinusitis. Using phage therapy can eradicate the bacteria causing the sickness.

Curing Infection (02:22)

In addition to phage therapy, a therapy that removes resistant genes from bacteria and replacing them with engineered genes via food is showing promise. The idea is to reverse the antibiotic resistance while reducing the use of antibiotics simultaneously.

Credits: Antibiotic Resistance: Catalyst (00:26)

Credits: Antibiotic Resistance: Catalyst

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Antibiotic Resistance—Catalyst

Part of the Series : Catalyst
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Antibiotics have saved millions of lives, but their misuse and overuse is making them less effective as bacteria develop resistance. Despite scientists’ warnings, antibiotic prescriptions in many countries continue to soar and antibiotic use in farming is at record levels. As a result, doctors are now seeing infections they can no longer treat. Are we facing the end of modern medicine?  An antibiotic apocalypse that takes medicine back to the Dark Ages? Or will researchers outwit the incredibly clever bacteria and find novel ways to beat resistance? Don’t miss this special episode of Catalyst.

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: BVL117865

ISBN: 978-1-63521-301-0

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.