Global efforts are needed to curb antibiotic resistance, according to a report published online Nov. 16 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Ramanan Laxminarayan, PhD, from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in Washington, DC, and colleagues describe the global situation of antibiotic resistance, its causes and consequences, and areas in which action is urgently needed.
The authors note that, in recent years, the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics in treating common infections has quickened. A global surveillance system is needed for antibiotic resistance, including reporting of outbreaks and warning systems to detect new resistance mechanisms. Antibiotic use should be strictly monitored and well-designed and contextualized educational campaigns should be implemented. The inadequate capacity and infrastructure to carry out basic microbiological laboratory analyses should be redressed. Unnecessary antibiotic use should be removed from all sectors and the spread to the environment minimized. Research should be invested in antibiotic adjuvants to retain the efficacy of current antibiotics, and increased investment should be made in alternative therapies. National task forces with governmental mandate are need to produce action plans and milestones in areas such as surveillance, regulation, treatment guidelines, infection control, education, and raising awareness.
"Only now has the awareness and urgency of the problem of antibiotic resistance reached a level that a new sustainable global system to counteract these problems can be built," a coauthor said in a statement. "Addressing these problems will require nothing less than a fundamental shift in how antibiotics are developed, financed, and prescribed."
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; a second author requests meeting support from various companies involved in the development of diagnostics and antibiotics for methicillin-resistant .
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