The A, B, Cs of the Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance – What it is and Why it Matters for Human and Animal Health

  05 December 2020

The development of antimicrobials – such as antibiotics, antivirals, antiparasitics, and antifungals – arguably represents one of the greatest successes of modern medicine. These medicines have allowed humans to combat the scourges of some of the deadliest diseases in history and reduced complications stemming from now commonplace medical procedures.

Still, our time with these technologies may be waning. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or the ability of pathogens to resist these technologies, threatens the effectiveness of our medicines and alludes to a reality defined by the inability to prevent infections. Such a development could jeopardize our ability to not only treat infectious diseases but also impact protocols for other ailments whose current treatments frequently leave patients immunocompromised (such as cancer, arthritis, and Crohn’s Disease) and procedures that use antimicrobials to prevent infection prophylactically or as treatment (such as surgery). Indeed, the threat posed by AMR is so great that in 2019, the World Health Organization listed it as one of the top-ten threats to health – placing it in company with other health concerns like climate change, HIV, and pandemic influenza.

Further reading: Georgetown University
Author(s): Sabrina Barrett, Matt Boyce, and Jordan Cuevas
Effective Surveillance  
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