News and Opinions  –  2022

Otto Cars has dedicated his life to the fight against antibiotic resistance

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2022-11-18

The silent pandemic - this is what the challenge of increasing antibiotic resistance in our society is called at times. Treatments are made more difficult in healthcare, lives are lost. Professor Otto Cars has devoted his entire professional life as a doctor and researcher by alerting the world to the risks of this silent pandemic. To commemorate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, Uppsala University releases a 16 minute long film portraying Otto Cars and his life-long engagement.

Otto Cars illustrates the importance of antibiotics – if antibiotics no longer work, the possibility of overcoming various infections is destroyed. Photo: Marcus Holmqvist, Uppsala University

Otto Cars, Professor and founder of ReAct and STRAMA – and a household name for anyone interested in antibiotic resistance around the world, was quick to recognize the risks of the much-vaunted antibiotic drugs. For many, he personifies the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Meet him in his home in the archipelago of Stockholm

In the film, we meet him in his home in the archipelago, where he has been able to collect his thoughts over the years. Among other things, he tells us why he has remained committed throughout the years.

Professor Otto Cars. Photo: Therese Holm, ReAct Europe

– “It is our generation that has created the problems that affect the world’s most vulnerable and future generations. It is our responsibility to do what we can to find a solution,

he says.

As bacteria become resistant to life-saving infectious medicines, the ability to treat and save lives is dramatically reducing in healthcare as we know it. Antibiotics are essential for transplants, cancer treatments, treatment of premature babies and surgery. Already today, more than 1,2 million people are dying from incurable infections around the world every year.

Holistic approach – action in several areas needed

Solving the problem of antibiotic resistance requires a holistic approach and action in several areas. The challenges are many. Research is needed for new infectious drugs, careful use of those antibiotics that still work, new funding models for development costs, international cooperation because resistance does not respect borders and, not least, political will and political action.

– “If we can make the world understand the seriousness of the problem, I am convinced that it can be resolved. But I think we need a strong and concerted international effort in an institute or similar that can focus entirely on this,”

says Otto Cars.


Antibiotic resistance – a silent pandemic. A portrait of Professor Otto Cars and his life-long engagement in saving these life-saving medicines. The film is produced by Marcus Holmqvist, Uppsala University.

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