What are superbugs?

Superbugs are organisms that have developed resistance to currently available antibiotics, leading to multidrug resistance. Although more people die each year from bacterial sepsis than from breast and prostate cancer combined, the funding for antibacterial research is more than 10 times lower than for these diseases. New treatments are needed to prevent a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death.

Superbugs costs the Australian economy in excess of $1 billion each year, while bacterial infections kill more than 170 Australians each week. By understanding the chemistry and biology of these infections, we can use this knowledge to discover new drugs, and redesign existing drugs to improve their effectiveness and help save lives.

Fast facts

  • Bacterial infections kill more than 9000 Australians each year

  • Superbugs cost the Australian economy in excess of $1 billion each year

  • The World Health Organisation describes multi-drug resistant bacteria as “one of the greatest threats to human health today”

  • 4 IMB research labs dedicated to finding superbug solutions 

         Sourced from: ABC's The Drum, World Health Organisation