Segments in this Video

Superbug Story (02:52)


Bacterial resistant antibiotics are a leading cause of death. Tom Patterson and his wife Steffanie Strathdee, an infectious disease epidemiologist, describe what was happening to his body while he was in a coma after becoming infected with Acinetobacter Baumannii.

Superbugs 101 (03:24)

Scientists have not produced new antibiotics because it is not profitable. Global economist Jim O'Neill was a chairperson of an independent review on antimicrobial resistance. Bacterial cells outnumber human cells in the body and are vital to health.

How Do Bacteria Become Resistant? (03:27)

Rare random mutations can allow bacteria to resist a specific antibiotic; the more antibiotics in circulation, the more mutations occur. Doctors prescribing antibiotics for viral infections is a major contributor.

Miracle Drugs (03:32)

Not addressing antibiotic resistance will lead to a huge loss of life and economic opportunity. Penicillin was first used for Staph in World War II. It takes 15 years to develop a new antibiotic, but only one year for bacteria to develop resistance.

The Road to Solutions (02:46)

The isolation chip increases the odds of finding a useful antibiotic. In 2015, it yielded Teixobactin using soil from Maine. MIT researchers designed a computer based model that found Halicin.

Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture (05:08)

Antibiotics vital to human medicine are no longer legal for growth promotion in livestock. Big fast food retailers have developed progressive antibiotic-use policies in response to consumers. India and China are the largest consumers of antibiotics in people and animals.

Prevention (03:44)

Dr. Robert "Chip" Schooley is the head of Infectious Disease at UC, San Diego Medical Center. Infection control and prevention is the first line of defense against antibiotic resistance; the second is antibiotic stewardship. The Netherlands has a low prevalence of highly resistant microorganisms.

Rapid Diagnostic Machines (04:13)

Cepheid's GeneXpert quickly identifies organisms that cause disease. Patterson went into a coma at UCSD when Acinetobacter Baumannii invaded his blood stream; Strathdee vowed to look into alternative treatments once doctors told her they could not save him.

New Antibiotics (04:54)

Basketball player Grant Hill tells the story of his battle with MRSA; he was treated with vancomycin. Student athlete Tori Kinamon studied the bacteria at Brown University after recovering from the infection. Eleftherios Mylonakis has discovered a compound effective against MRSA persister cells.

Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis (03:03)

MDRTB mainly affects the lungs and typically infects 20 other people before diagnosis. Treatment takes up to two years and includes terrible side effects. Pretomanid, combined with two other drugs, shortens treatment to six months.

Resistant Gonorrhea (01:43)

This STI is resistant to antibiotics in most parts of the world. Women and some men may have no symptoms, but still carry the infection. Four new antibiotics that can treat it are in phase three clinical trials.

Renewed Antibiotics (02:18)

Gerald Wright's at McMaster University pairs existing antibiotics with new compounds. He uses the strain of salmonella he was infected with in his research. Aspergillomarasmine A blocks NDM - 1 enzyme.

Bacteriophage Therapy (04:20)

Strathdee and Dr. Schooley sought sources for Patton's "experimental" treatment outside the U.S. The Navy generated a new cocktail when his infection became resistant.

Beyond Antibiotics (04:09)

Timothy Lu engineers phages and uses CRISPR editing at his MIT lab to target superbugs more precisely. C. Diff can be fatal; Christi Nelson was successfully treated with FMT after two rounds of antibiotics.

Last-Resort Drug (01:57)

Probiotics are sold over the counter and help with some intestinal, vaginal, and urinary tract infections. MCR1 is a Colistin resistant gene; it was discovered on a pig farm in China in 2015.

Partners With Science (02:31)

The antibiotic pipeline is set up in a way that does not allow pharmaceutical companies to profit from making new antibiotics. O'Neill's proposed method disconnects antibiotic prices from the classic supply and demand model.

Combative Antibiotic Resistant Initiative (05:48)

All UN states agreed to make two-year studies of the superbug crisis in their countries. CARB-X is building the world's largest and most scientifically diverse R&D to fight the most urgent superbugs. Startups have gone bankrupt attempting to create new antibiotics

Containing Superbugs (04:36)

Every time antibiotics are used, 55% of carbapenem drug resistant patients die. UC San Diego School of Medicine gives patients with no other options phage therapy under the FDA's compassionate-use program.

Credits: Beating Superbugs Better: Can We Win? (03:00)

Credits: Beating Superbugs Better: Can We Win?

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Beating Superbugs Better: Can We Win?

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This feature-length documentary presents an accessible yet in-depth and up-to-date message with a touch of mystery and suspense: Can we, in fact, beat superbugs--antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Superbugs’ partnership with COVID-19 bookends the film: When COVID weakens its victims, superbugs often come in for the actual kill. Nevertheless, ingenious solutions to their advance are either in place or emerging. The film moves in and out of a single patient's dramatic saga while presenting frontline testimonies from others: doctors and patients battling the five top superbugs as well as global leaders in science, economics, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. Together they reveal innovative new ways to fight these rogue bacteria. Such joint efforts have a good chance to stem two dire, data-driven predictions: 1) Superbugs, not viruses, will be the first culprits in a fast-approaching series of pandemics, and 2) If unchecked by mid-century, superbugs could surpass cancer as the number 1 cause of human deaths worldwide. Throughout and summarized at film’s end are personal and public ways that citizens anywhere may readily join essential grass-roots forces in the whole superbug fight.

Length: 68 minutes

Item#: BVL281641

ISBN: 979-8-88678-361-2

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.