Medicine as currently practised throughout the world is threatened by the rise of antibiotic resistant infections. In 2014 it was reported that 50,000 people a year die from antibiotic resistant infections in the USA and Europe. Worldwide there may be as many as 700,000 deaths a year. Jim O'Neill, the eminent economist appointed by the Prime Minister as chair of the Government Review of Antimicrobial resistance recently stated “For doctors and for those who have experienced first-hand the anxiety of an infection that is drugresistant, as a patient or when caring for a loved one, there is little need to prove the importance of tackling antimicrobial resistance.”1,2 The Prime Minister stated in 2014 that the world could soon be “cast back into the dark ages of medicine” unless action is taken to tackle the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics”,3.

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