A global awakening is needed to avoid an impending public health catastrophe, say experts
The emergence of pan-resistant NDM-1 bacteria and epidemic of multidrug-resistant E. coli infections currently in Europe should be taken as a major public health warning, indicating that a new era of antimicrobial resistance has begun, according to industry experts, and this must lead to a global awakening: the protection of antibiotics has now entered the sphere of sustainable development.
More than 70 international experts in medicine, infectious diseases, microbiology and epidemiology, from every continent, gathered recently at the Fondation Merieux's Conference Center for the third edition of the World HAI Forum on healthcare-associated infections, a bioMerieux initiative. Forum participants called upon national and international health authorities and policy makers, the medical and veterinary communities, industry and the general public to take action to avoid an impending public health catastrophe caused by the emergence and spread of bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics.
While research to discover novel antibiotics has slowed to a virtual standstill, bacterial resistance has increased due to the massive use and misuse of antibiotics, not only for human health, but also for animals. The treatment of certain common infections is becoming difficult and the success of immunosuppressive therapies and surgical interventions (organ transplants, cardiac surgery), which are associated with a high risk of bacterial infection, could be compromised.
The Forum participants identified priority action areas to fight bacterial resistance and recommended 12 concrete actions to be implemented in the short to mid-term.
Priority actions for policy makers and health authorities:
Priority actions for the human and veterinary healthcare communities:
Priority actions for the general public: