Randox responds to antibiotic resistance warning from NI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride

Home - Randox responds to antibiotic resistance warning from NI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride

Today, Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride has stated that antibiotic resistance is now the greatest risk to human health and medicines worldwide. Dr. McBride said; “Currently 700,000 people die worldwide each year from drug resistant infections and this figure is forecasted to reach 10 million deaths by 2050, if the problem is ignored.”

It is rather alarming therefore that 70% of GPs admit that they prescribe antibiotics when they are unsure if they are treating a viral or bacterial infection. By prescribing antibiotics for viral infections, which can’t be combatted with antibiotics, patients are being exposed to antibiotics which are of no benefit.

John Lamont, Lead Scientist at Randox Laboratories, said that “Current diagnostic testing for respiratory infections takes at least 36 hours to confirm the nature of an infection, and they cannot name and categorise infections as bacterial or viral is the way our new respiratory test can.”

At Randox, our pioneering R&D teams have developed a revolutionary swab test for respiratory infections which indicates the cause of the infection and whether a patient needs antibiotics or not. This helps to limit the amount of patients who are prescribed antibiotics, reducing antibiotic resistance.

The Randox test, which can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 21 respiratory infections in just 5 hours, can also subsequently determine the appropriate antibiotic drug treatment for patients.

This test, if adopted by GP surgeries, could allow medical practitioners to make the correct treatment choice on the same day as examination and before patients have already begun a precautionary course of inefficient antibiotics.  It would also have additional efficiency savings for the NHS, by eliminating the need for lengthy microbiology lab tests and unnecessarily prescribing drugs which are not needed.  This new rapid and accurate test will give the GP confidence in their diagnosis of respiratory infections and will allow for quicker treatment if necessary, which benefits patient outcomes.

The test is also available as a Randox Health Cough, Cold & Flu offering, and can be carried out by booking an appointment with Randox Health at our clinics in Crumlin, Holywood or London, or by arranging the mobile clinic to visit you at your home or place of work.

So what action can we take to limit the looming antibiotic resistance crisis?

  1. Ask your GP if tests will be performed to make sure you even need antibiotics and that the correct antibiotic is prescribed.
  2. Take the antibiotics as prescribed. Make sure you complete the prescribed course, even when you start feeling better. This makes sure that all bacteria from your current infection are eradicated, leaving none behind that could potentially develop resistance to your antibiotic.
  3. Only take antibiotics prescribed for you; do not share or use leftover antibiotics. Taking the wrong medication will delay correct treatment and allow bacteria to multiply, and potentially develop a resistance to the antibiotic you are using incorrectly.

Find out more about the Cough, Cold & Flu Respiratory test here.

Book an appointment with one of our clinics, or arrange the mobile clinic, by phoning 0800 2545 130 or by clicking here.

For further information please contact the Randox PR team by email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


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