And if this summer you contribute to fight against resistance to antibiotics?

We remember the slogan launched by the health insurance: “Antibiotics are not automatic“. He has made an impression for more than ten years in France. So to combat drug resistance, researchers from Inserm and Université Paris Cité invite you this summer, during your summer hikes, to take part in the “Science à la shovel” project. Your mission: to collect a tablespoon of soil from your place of walk throughout France. Sample to be sent to researchers and informed about the application available on the project website. These contributions will collectively enable advancing drug research to fight infectious diseases.

Test millions of samples

Many drugs used today are derived from molecules produced naturally by soil bacteria. This is the case for the vast majority of antibiotics, but also a certain number of cancer drugs and immunosuppressants. But only a tiny portion of these bacteria have been studied in the laboratory. In soil, less common molecules have yet to be discovered. According to Inserm “a single gram of soil often contains more than 1,000 different species of bacteria, which may vary from place to place depending, for example, on the composition of the soil. To maximize the chances of finding new molecules, thousands of samples will have to be tested.”

The objective for the researchers is to find, thanks to the bacteria which live in the soil, effective drugs against infectious diseases developing drug resistance.

Antibiotic resistance responsible for more than 5,500 deaths in France

France in particular is a big consumer of antibiotics. Each year in the country, more than 120,000 people are affected, and more than 5,500 people die from infections with multidrug-resistant bacteriai.e. resistant to antibiotics, including new generation ones.

To remedy this, the government has already drawn up an interministerial program to control antibiotic resistance.

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