Could Superbugs Wipe Us Out?

A 2014 study predicted that superbugs - bacteria that have developed a resistance to multiple antibiotics - could kill 10 million people a year by 2050. If superbugs continue to develop unchecked, then procedures such as chemotherapy and C-sections could become life-threatening. Combating superbugs will take a multi-pronged approach, one part of which should be decreased consumption of antibiotics. Researchers stress that they should be a last resort, and not the first thing a sick person reaches for. Reducing the amount of antibiotics in meat is also a priority, as a glut of antibiotics only leads to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Antibiotics can kill a bacterium by interfering with its metabolism, attacking its DNA, or ripping its outer layer to shreds. 01:16

  2. Superbugs are bacteria that are immune to multiple antibiotics. 02:40

  3. In late 2015, scientists discovered bacteria that could resist Colistin, an antibiotic often used to combat already antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 04:21

Written by Curiosity Staff March 30, 2016