UK Current Affairs

Scientists develop new way to fight drug resistant superbugs

Scientists from the University of Birmingham and Newcastle University in the UK have new way of removing antibodies from the blood stream.

This method has potential to reduce chronic infections that may help humans in the fight against drug resistant superbugs.

Key Facts
  • Scientists had used a process known as plasmapheresis that is somewhat like kidney dialysis. It involved the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from circulation.
  • It was done five times in a week in order to remove antibody from two patients with bronchiectasis who had suffered with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections resistant to many antibiotics.
  • Using this process, scientists replaced antibodies in these patients with those from blood donations. This treatment restored ability for the patients’ blood to kill their infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.
What is Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs?

Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs. These microorganisms are also termed as “superbugs”. As a result, the medicines or drugs become ineffective and infections persist in the body futher increasing the risk of spread to others.


AMR has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development. All around the world, many common infections have become resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat them which resulted in longer illnesses and more deaths. At the same time, not enough new antimicrobial drugs especially antibiotics are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones.


India becomes world’s 4th largest defence spender

According to the recently released 2016 IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets report, India has become the world’s fourth largest defence spender.

In this edition of report published by US research firm IHS Inc, India has surpassed Russia, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s fourth largest defence spender. 

Key Highlights from report
  • United States, China, and the UK remain the top three defence spender in the world. In 2016, the total global defence spending increased to $1.57 trillion.
  • US tops with mammoth defence spending of $622 billion. China is second with defence spending of $191.75top-10-defence billion.
  • India had spent $50.6 billion in 2016 on defence sector, up from $46.6 billion the year 2015. Thus, India spends some 1.8% of its GDP on defence. Of this, up to 36% is spent on capital acquisition.
  • Over the next few years, India will re-emerge as a key growth market for defence suppliers to fulfill its military focused modernisation. India will surpass the UK in defence spending by 2018.
  • India needs to spend some $130 billion to modernise its military over the next seven years.
  • NDA Government since coming to power in May 2014 has laid tremendous stress on ramping up the country’s defence facilities.
  • India also has been looking at increasing share of domestic manufacturing in defence goods. The foreign direct investment (FDI) limit for the defence sector in India also has been raised to 49%.
  • India’s defence and aerospace market is among the most attractive globally. Government is keen to leverage this advantage to promote investments in the sector.