Otto Cars has dedicated his life to the fight against antibiotic resistance

19 November 2022

Otto Cars with a pyramid of boxes about to collapse.

Otto Cars illustrates how important antibiotics are.

The silent pandemic – that is what the challenge of increasing antibiotic resistance in our society is sometimes called. Treatments are rendered more difficult within health care and lives are claimed. Throughout his professional life as a doctor and researcher, Professor Otto Cars has dedicated himself to drawing the outside world’s attention to the risks of this silent pandemic.

Cars, a household name to anyone interested in antibiotic resistance around the world, recognised the risks of the celebrated antibiotic drugs early on. For many, he personifies the fight against antibiotic resistance. In the film, we meet him at his home in the archipelago, a place where he has been able to collect his thoughts over the years. He explains why he has been committed to this field throughout all these years.

“It was our generation that created the problems that are now affecting the most vulnerable in the world as well as future generations. It is our responsibility to do what we can to find a solution,” he says.

When bacteria become resistant to critical anti-infective drugs, options to treat and save lives decrease dramatically in modern health care. Antibiotics are necessary in transplants, cancer treatments, treatment of premature babies and surgery. Even today, many people around the globe are dying due to incurable infections.

Solving the problem of antibiotic resistance requires a comprehensive approach and measures in multiple areas. Effective antibiotics should also be seen as a collective global resource that must be available to all who need them. But there are many challenges. Research is needed into new anti-infective drugs, cautious use of those antibiotics that still work, new funding models for development costs, international collaboration since resistance has no regard for borders and, not least, political will.

“If we can get the world to understand the seriousness of this then it can be resolved – that is my conviction. But I think we need a substantial and concerted international investment into an institute or something similar that can focus entirely on this area,” adds Cars.