By the bioMérieux Connection Editors
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent global threats to public health. Modern medical treatments such as transplants, cancer therapies, most surgical procedures, and other health advances would become virtually impossible without the existence of effective antibiotics.
“Modern travel of people, animals, and goods means antibiotic resistance can easily spread across borders and continents. Antibiotic resistance in one country means antibiotic resistance in every country,” says Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “Fighting this threat requires a collaborative global approach across sectors to detect, prevent, and respond to these threats when they occur. Every country, regardless of resources, can take steps to slow antibiotic resistance.”
With the leadership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States government is launching a new year-long initiative to bolster efforts across various sectors and around the world to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The goal is to inform and educate the general public about the dangers of AMR and to coordinate stakeholders to take meaningful action against it.
Organizations and companies around the country and the world are making commitments to participate in the challenge in five key areas: antibiotic use, environment and sanitation, infection prevention and control, tracking and data, vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
According to the CDC, approximately “30 percent of antibiotics, or 47 million prescriptions annually, are prescribed unnecessarily in doctors’ offices and emergency departments in the United States […]. Antibiotics are overprescribed in both human and animal settings, which makes everyone less safe.” A key goal in the CDC’s NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR COMBATING ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA is to reduce “inappropriate antibiotic use by 50% in outpatient settings and by 20% in inpatient settings” by 2020.
To achieve that, the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Solutions Initiative makes innovative and rapid diagnostic tests a pillar of this national effort to curtail AMR. For healthcare systems, diagnostic tests are essential tools to help improve overall patient outcomes and for the cost-efficient management of individuals with suspected or confirmed infections.
On an individual basis, diagnostic tests are beneficial in helping to decide if antibiotics are needed. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, yet these drugs are often prescribed to patients with viral infections or no infection at all, according to the CDC. Diagnostic tests help to quickly determine the type of infection so that the best drug is used to treat it. (In terms of public health impact, diagnostics are the crucial elements which generate informative and effective AMR surveillance systems, yielding important information on the trends in pathogen incidence and resistance in countries, regions, and around the globe.
bioMérieux will actively participate in the AMR Challenge with three commitments:
- Innovative diagnostics: In 2018, approximately 75% of bioMérieux’s clinical R&D budget is dedicated to develop effective diagnostics that support the fight against AMR.
- International surveys: bioMérieux is the sole sponsor of the Global Point Prevalence Survey (GLOBAL-PPS), the first global initiative providing a unique overview of the global burden of antibiotic use and resistance rates in hospitals worldwide.
- Public-private partnerships: Among several public-private partnerships, bioMérieux is part of COMBACTE (COMbatting BACTerial resistance in Europe), a unique research consortium aiming at boosting research and innovation against AMR within the framework of Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
To read more about bioMérieux’s involvement in the Global AMR Challenge, please visit www.biomerieux-usa.com for the media statement. Also visit https://www.antimicrobial-resistance.biomerieux.com/ to learn more about AMR worldwide.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of bioMérieux, Inc.