An antibiotic made from metal

A new compound, based on the heavy metal ruthenium, destroys antibiotic-resistant bacteria...
10 June 2019
Presented by Katie Haylor
Production by Matthew Hall.


Artists impression of bacteria


Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve to sidestep the drugs we use to kill them. With resistance rising, we could be facing an “antibiotic apocalypse”, where even trivial infections become untreatable. What's worse, almost no new antibiotics are being developed by the major pharmaceutical companies. Now, though, Kirsty Smitten from the University of Sheffield has uncovered a new option based on the heavy metal ruthenium. It can destroy antibiotic resistant bacteria, including those known as gram negatives, traditionally regarded as much harder to treat. Kirsty spoke with Katie Haylor...


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