Preventing the superbug apocalypse

Wednesday 16 October 2013, 6–7.30pm

Professor Jon Iredell, Professor Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research and the Westmead Clinical School
Associate Professor Tom Gottlieb, Clinical Associate Professor and Senior Specialist, Concord Hospital
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases, NSW Health (Chair)

Antibiotics – the great medical discovery of the 20th century – have produced a monster. While the highly-publicised golden staph threat is being addressed in Australia, the emerging issue is with gram-negative bacteria – bacteria that doesn't survive well in external environments but spreads from person to person.

The interconnectedness of everybody’s microflora means that gut microbes are shared very effectively. It’s not just humans who share them - even migratory water birds transmit them around the world. E. coli from a hospital dump in Europe might be ultimately deposited in South America, Asia or Australia. It is a global ecological problem with potentially catastrophic effects. Associate Professor Gottlieb will describe the worst case scenario and analyse the causes and responses. Professor Iredell will then outline the various solutions his research team are investigating in an attempt to avert disaster. Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases, NSW Health, is chairing the talks.

VENUE: PricewaterhouseCoopers Sydney Room, Level 10, 201 Sussex St, Sydney

A 21st Century Medicine Lecture, presented by the Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney in conjunction with Sydney Ideas and the Westmead Millennium Institute and the Marie Bashir Institute

Missed the presentation?

LISTEN: "Preventing the superbug apocalypse " audio of the presentation

SLIDES: "The Antibiotic Paradox", Associate Professor Tom Gottlieb; "Antibiotic Resistance - an ecological problem", John Iredell

READ: Radius magazine’s interview with Professor Jon Iredell – October 2013