Antimicrobial Stewardship and Global Food Safety: The Next Pandemic?

  28 January 2022

Right now, the world’s attention is focused on COVID-19 and its devastating effects. But another pandemic is eagerly awaiting and is relatively unchecked, and equally as bad if not worse: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Antimicrobials refer to a group of substances that can destroy or slow the growth of microorganisms (e.g., antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics). It should be noted that all antibiotics are antimicrobials but not all antimicrobials are antibiotics. 

AMR is reflective of ‘super bugs’ that do not respond to current antimicrobial agents. This AMR pandemic is already claiming 700,000 lives globally each year. Domestically, one person dies every 15 minutes due to antibiotic resistant organisms. In the United States alone, it is responsible for more than 35,000 preventable deaths every year. It is currently estimated that by the year 2050, on a global basis as many as ten million people per year could die from these infections (WHO, 2019). Antimicrobial resistance is a global crisis that risks reversing a century of progress in human and animal health. This should be scary news.

Further reading: Michigan State University
Author(s): Scott Haskell
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