Antimicrobial Resistance and Environmental Health: A Water Stewardship Framework for Global and National Action

  13 January 2022

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health crisis that affects all life on Earth. In 2015, the World Health Organization developed guidance to combat AMR in accordance with a One Health framework considering human, animal, and environment sectors of planetary health. This study reviewed global guidance and 25 National Action Plans to evaluate thematic priorities in One Health AMR approaches using a novel framework that additionally facilitated the identification of water-related stewardship gaps, as water resources are recognized as the primary environmental AMR reservoir and dissemination pathway. This review found that global and national stewardship primarily focuses on mitigating antibiotic use in the human and animal sectors, overlooking environmental drivers, particularly diverse environmental waters. The findings of this study highlight the need to broaden the scope of water-related AMR concerns beyond water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure for water supply and wastewater treatment, and account for environmental waters in AMR development and dissemination, particularly in low-income countries where half a billion people rely on environmental waters to meet daily needs. Equitably accounting for water environments, supplies, and waste in AMR prevention, mitigation, surveillance, and innovation can significantly enhance the integration of environmental objectives in One Health AMR stewardship.

Further reading: Antibiotics
Author(s): Rachel A. Kaiser, Lina Taing, Himesh Bhatia
Clean Environment  


Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre



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