BRISBANE, November 19, 2014: Anatara Lifesciences, a company developing non-antibiotic treatments for gastrointestinal diseases in animals and humans, has welcomed Antibiotic Awareness Week in Australia to increase awareness around the threat to human health of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic Awareness Week is part of a global initiative to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and promote the responsible use of antibiotics. It urges that the “miracle” of antibiotics be preserved and warns that “no action today, no cure tomorrow”.

Overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to bacteria developing resistance to medicines and becoming so-called “super bugs” that make illnesses harder to treat.

Around 80% of antibiotics in the US are used in animal production.

Anatara Lifesciences has developed a non-antibiotic therapy for diarrhoea called DetachTM that will help reduce the use of antibiotics in pigs.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to human health that is increasingly becoming a major issue for authorities,” Anatara Chairman Mel Bridges said.

“Awareness is growing and with that will come demands from consumers, health authorities and farmers for non-antibiotic therapies for production animals.”

Detach works by stopping bacteria from attaching to the lining of the intestine, as well as blocking the action of their toxins, the underlying cause of diarrhoea. It works differently to antibiotics in that it doesn’t try to kill bacteria and instead lets them pass through the intestine harmlessly.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is working with key partners from human health, animal health and agriculture to raise awareness about the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic Awareness Week is from November 17 to November 23.