Press release

Government makes £500,000 available for new research into antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Chief Medical Officer announces that £500,000 of government is available for new research into antibiotic-resistant bacteria

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor, today announced that £500,000 of Government-funding is available for new research into antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

ESBLs (extended spectrum Beta lactamases) are enzymes produced by bacteria making them resistant to some of the most widely used antibiotics in hospitals. As these bacteria are becoming more common, the Department of Health commissioned a report to review the current state of knowledge on ESBL-producing bacteria as they are a potential threat to the treatment of serious infections.

The report, published today, by members of ARHAI (the Department of Health’s Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection) and DARC (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Antimicrobial Resistance Coordinating Committee) shows the current level of knowledge in this area.

The report is available on the Department of Health website.

The Department is now calling for new research proposals on ESBLs to expand our knowledge in this area.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor, said:

“We are committed to preventing and treating and infections effectively so we can give high quality care to patients. That’s why we are investing £500,000 into new research into the resistance caused by extended spectrum Beta lactamases (ESBLs)

“We welcome this report into ESBL-producing bacteria by our expert committees and I am looking forward to seeing exciting new research proposals in this important area.”

Published 7 February 2012