Time to tackle AMR together
As resistance against antimicrobials continues to grow, collective action must be taken to turn the tide against this global public-health concern.
November marks World AMR Awareness Week (18–24 November) and this year’s theme, a continuation from 2022, is “Preventing antimicrobial resistance together”. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been recognized as a growing threat for many years, and while there have been numerous calls for action, research into the increasing burden of AMR and breakthroughs in the development of new antimicrobials, the overall impact on this sizeable problem has been negligible. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported that annual deaths attributable to bacterial AMR in the European Union and European Economic Area increased over a three-year period — from an average of 30,730 deaths in 2016 to 38,710 deaths in 2019. A study published in The Lancet reported that bacterial AMR was associated with an estimated 4.95 million deaths worldwide in 2019, with 1.27 million deaths being a direct result of bacterial AMR2. These worrying statistics are likely to be underestimated considering the increasing burden of fungal, viral and parasitic AMR for which effective antimicrobials are limited. Those living in lower- and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by AMR, and infants and older individuals are most at risk of nosocomial infections by resistant pathogens. Urgent and concrete action is clearly needed and we must work together to successfully tackle AMR.
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