The Rise of the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis


  • Sharanya Raman Horace Mann School, New York, NY 10024. Author



Antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistance mechanisms, superbug pathogens, antibiotic innovation


The evolution of modern medicine and the rise of antibiotics revolutionized the treatment of bacterial infections. Alexander Fleming's accidental discovery of penicillin in 1929 marked a significant moment in medical history, commencing a new era where once-fatal diseases became manageable. However, the misuse of antibiotics, driven by a misconception that they work against viral infections, has led to a global crisis of antibiotic resistance. Bacteria naturally evolve mechanisms to withstand drugs, posing a threat to human health. Antibiotic resistance, categorized into restrictive drug uptake, target alteration, drug inactivation, and efflux pump, jeopardizes sectors like government, agriculture, and healthcare. The rise of superbugs, fast-spreading and incurable bacteria, poses a significant global health concern. The UN predicts over 10 million deaths by 2050 due to antibiotic resistance, surpassing annual cancer fatalities. The economic disincentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics greatly worsens the problem. A potential solution lies in creating an economic case for sustainable investment and incentivizing antibiotic innovation. Antibiotic resistance surveillance, clinical guidelines, and public awareness efforts contribute to mitigating the crisis. However, without conscious global efforts and collaboration among stakeholders, the crisis will never come to an end. 

Author Biography

  • Sharanya Raman, Horace Mann School, New York, NY 10024.

    Sharanya Raman is a junior student at Horace Mann School in New York. She has lived and attended school in several countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and now the United States, in addition to her home country, India. Sharanya is keen to further her academic career in the field of Biochemistry or Biotechnology. Within these subjects, she is fascinated to learn more about gene sequencing, antibiotic resistance, neuropsychology, drug production, and vaccine technologies. Sharanya enjoys solving puzzles and is passionate about music and singing.