Food-borne pathogens are a major threat to food safety. Most food-borne illness is caused by infection by microbial pathogens that have entered the food chain at some point from farm to fork. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that food-borne and water-borne diarrhoeal diseases together kill around 2.2 million people annually.
The Position Statement argues that microbiological research is vital in safeguarding our supplies of nutritious, safe and abundant food.
Influenza or ‘flu’ is a viral infection that mainly affects the nose, throat and lungs. Good hygiene practices such as correct hand washing are essential to help prevent the spread of flu.
Biofuels are renewable liquid or gaseous fuels made by and/or from living organisms or the wastes that they produce. Microbes play a crucial role in the production of sustainable biofuels. The Society also responded to consultations on biofuels in 2010 and 2006.
Micro-organisms are termed ‘antimicrobial-resistant’ or ‘drug-resistant’ when they are no longer inhibited by an antimicrobial to which they were previously sensitive. Antimicrobial resistance is threatening to make many diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV, malaria and gonorrhoea, untreatable. The Society strongly supports Antibiotic Action, a campaign to develop new antimicrobial therapies.
A novel H1N1 virus emerged from Mexico in April 2009 and spread so rapidly that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global flu pandemic on 11 June. H1N1 (2009) is now circulating as seasonal flu and has been incorporated into the 2010/2011 seasonal flu vaccine.
Traveller's diarrhoea (TD) is the most common illness that affects international travellers. Each year 20–60% of globetrotters, an estimated 10 million people, develop this diarrhoeal illness.