There are many moving parts in the global effort to fight the rise of drug-resistant bugs, but at its heart, this is a critical challenge for medical research, says Nicola Blackwood.
The number of bugs becoming resistant to antimicrobial drugs is a frightening problem, one that could undermine the very existence of modern medicine.
Chemotherapy, caesareans and simple procedures such as hip operations would be life-threatening. At present, a conservative estimate is that more than 700,000 people die every year from drug-resistant infections. By 2050, if left unchecked, drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year and cost the worldwide economy $100 trillion.