PLymouth Antibiotic EngagemenT Initiative (PLANET)

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today.

Why it is relevant to you: without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

What we want you to do: to slow resistance we need to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. We invite the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations to become 'Antibiotic Guardians' who pledge to help raise the profile of antibiotic resistance – you can sign up via the 'Pledge now!' button.

Call to action: Choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

"If new, powerful antibiotic drugs are not discovered, we ‘may’ return to the pre-antibiotic era."

Mathew Upton from the University of Plymouth thinks that the solution may lie deep under the surface of the ocean, in dark, cold environments where weird and wonderful sponges live. Mathew is a Professor in Medical Microbiology at the University of Plymouth and the lead for the Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Research Group. 

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organised by a local community. Learn more at

2018 Antibiotic Guardian Awards

The University’s public engagement work to raise awareness of the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was recently shortlisted in the 2018 Antibiotic Guardian Awards, on behalf of Public Health England, in the Public Engagement category.

The AMR team, comprising academic and professional services staff, post-doctoral researchers, PhD candidates and undergraduate project students, has held a range of events over the past year – and continues to do so – to highlight the issues surrounding antibiotic resistance and the need to preserve their efficacy for future generations. 

Read the full news release for further information

Antibiotic resistant infections are a major threat to human health

This article by Dr Mathew Upton and Dr Victoria Hurth featured in the Summer 2017 publication 'Sphere' produced by the Sustainable Earth Institute.

The article discusses the background to antibiotic resistant infections, the current antibiotics crisis and the development of a new class of antibiotics for use in the prevention and treatment of infections caused by 'superbugs' like MRSA.

Read the 'Sphere' article

Antibiotic resistant pathogens research group

The University's antibiotic resistant pathogens research group is internationally recognised for development of novel antibiotics and investigation of uropathogenic E. coli.

The group has a programme of drug discovery to help meet the need for new antibiotics. Our lead antimicrobial, epidermicin, has unique activity in a relevant infection model and is in pre-clinical testing. As well as research into new antibiotics, the group studies pathogens that cause drug resistant infections in order to understand and treat these infections. 

Find out more about our research

Destroy deadly bacteria and keep humanity's precious antibiotics working for as long as you can in this free, fast-paced, and addictive action game.

The story of this casual, real-time puzzle game comes straight from today's headlines: the rise of superbugs, resistant bacteria which can't be killed by the drugs we rely on to fight infection.

"The new Superbugs game looks great – and as well as being fun, it will help you find out about the huge problem of drug-resistant bacteria – a threat to all our health." Professor Alice Roberts.

Find out more and play the game

Games For Better

Games For Better was a 48 hour game jam that took place at the end of September to highlight the effectiveness of games in raising awareness and understanding about important issues. 

Game developers were challenged to build games that approached important, global issues, with the power and engagement that only games can provide. 

Organised by So Good Studios, an indie game development company based in Plymouth, this year's theme was 'Antibiotic Resistance'. 

Contact for further details. 

Science in the News Explained

Dr Mat Upton discusses what action we can take to combat antibiotic resistance.

“Antibiotic resistance threatens mankind with the prospect of a return to the pre-antibiotic era.” (House of Lords report 1998)

The issues of the unsustainable use of antibiotics has rumbled along in the background for many years with academic report after academic report highlighting that overuse and misuse is causing ‘super-bug’ bacteria to develop which is treatment resistant. 

Read Dr Victoria Hurth's blog on balancing the short and long term, international cooperation and intergenerational justice when it comes to sustainability and the use of antibiotics.

Peninsula Dental School is a key provider of dental education in the UK and its unique setting in primary care provides huge opportunities for engagement with general dental practitioners (GDPs) many of whom are involved in teaching and training of dental students. 

The school is committed to raising awareness regarding antibiotic resistance and ensuring that antibiotics are prescribed appropriately to patients attending the Dental Education Facilities across multiple sites across the South West. Many students and staff members have already become “Antibiotic Guardians”.

Read the blog Antibiotic Resistance: Role of General Dental Practitioners by Professor Kamran Ali to see how general dental practitioners are minimising the unnecessary use of antibiotics in dentistry.