“War on Superbugs”: Regulation of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment
The WHO describes antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as the situation where bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites stop responding to medicines, it becomes harder to treat infections, and the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death increases. The WHO recognises AMR as a global public health challenge. There are multiple pathways for the emergence of AMR – human, animal, and the environment. The WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance recognises water and the environment as a pathway for AMR. AMR in the environment represents a planetary health challenge affecting human and environmental health. Different sources could lead to the emergence of AMR in the environment including pharmaceutical effluents, domestic sewage, hospital effluents, use of pesticides and insecticides in agriculture, improper disposal of waste from livestock animals and the aquaculture industry.
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