Scientists at Comenius University tackle antibiotic resistance

Global problem arose because people overused antibiotics.

Stock image.Stock image. (Source: SME - Marko Erd)

After the end of World War 2, antibiotics (ATBs) went on to save millions of lives. Pneumonia, cholera, diphtheria and other infectious diseases could finally be treated. There were even hopes of wiping out tuberculosis. Unfortunately for us, people started using antibiotics so indiscriminately that their effectiveness is gradually waning.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

Microbes are continuously developing organisms, reproducing and mutating. The overuse of antibiotics in humans (even to treat the common cold), in veterinary medicine, in agriculture and in the food industry, has resulted in many microbes developing resistance to our drugs.

"A person can thus become infected with a microbe for which there is no treatment. Similarly to 100 years ago, people will once again die from pneumonia," says medicinal chemist Josef Jampílek from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Comenius University in Bratislava.

Scientists are scrambling to find new antibiotics or some other compounds we can use instead. That is why Josef Jampílek and his team have set out to create new small molecules based on cinnamic acid. The molecules they design target the most common resistant bacteria in the world. Even though their research has just begun, it is already showing promise.

Related article Pavol Prokop: Minorities, conservatives, and the science of disgust Read more 

Global problem

According to a new analysis published in January this year in the prestigious The Lancet journal, it is estimated that in 2019 almost five million people died from illnesses where antimicrobial resistance played a part. Of those, almost 1.3 million were a direct result of the phenomenon.

SkryťRemove ad

In the future, the number will be even higher.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

Karl von Habsburg, the head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine

Maria Theresa finally recognised in Bratislava public space

Descendant Karl von Habsburg at official opening of Maria Theresa Parkway.

23. sep
The Moderna vaccine

Covid booster doses opened up to under 50s

Registration for Omicron-adjusted jabs has started.

21. sep

Košice to ban smoking during lunch, councillor calls it fascist

Municipal councillor calls the restriction discriminating.

20. sep
The cemetery of of the Russian Tsarist Army soldiers in 2018.

Russian graves destroyed? Police say embassy is lying

Mayor of east Slovak village threatened with death.

19. sep
SkryťClose ad