Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic crisis needs united global response, experts say

Date:
May 22, 2014
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Growing resistance to antibiotics and other drugs demands a coordinated global response on the same scale as efforts to address climate change, say experts. Without an international commitment to tackle the issue, the world faces a future in which simple infections that have been treatable for decades become deadly diseases, they warn.

Growing resistance to antibiotics and other drugs demands a coordinated global response on the same scale as efforts to address climate change, experts say.

Without an international commitment to tackle the issue, the world faces a future in which simple infections that have been treatable for decades become deadly diseases, they warn.

Resistance to antibiotics to tackle bacterial infections and antimicrobial drugs used to treat parasites, viruses and fungi is spreading at an alarming rate. Treatment for many infectious diseases is now reliant on just one or two drugs.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, of the University of Edinburgh, and Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, outlined their concerns at an event hosted by the Royal Society in London and in a Comment piece published online in the journal Nature.

The authors recommend the foundation of a powerful global organisation similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to lead an international response.

They argue that the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance is similar to that posed by climate change because it is a natural process exacerbated by human activity and the actions of one country can have global ramifications.

Yet the international response to this threat -- caused by the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs -- has been feeble, the authors say.

They are calling for the creation of an independent body to oversee surveillance efforts and set strict evidence-based targets, to stem the loss of drug potency and speed the development of new therapies.

Such an organisation should work closely with the national governments and international agencies who will be tasked with implementing its recommendations.

In a world without antibiotics, routine surgical procedures would become deadly, scientists say. Treatment for cancer and diabetes, as well as organ transplants, would be impossible in their current form. Industrial agriculture would also suffer, owing to the increased use of antibiotics in animals as growth promoters.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation spending 750 million annually on biomedical research, said: "We have needed to take action against the development of antimicrobial resistance for more than 20 years. Despite repeated warnings, the international response has been feeble. The World Health Organisation has missed opportunities to provide leadership, and very little progress has been made. The result has been the emergence of strains of infections including tuberculosis and malaria, pneumonia and gonorrhoea that resist all known classes of drugs. We need a new independent body that will not only monitor the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but also drive and direct efforts to contain it."

Professor Mark Woolhouse, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, said: "The time has come to stop re-stating the problems of antimicrobial resistance and start taking action. We need independent, international leadership on this issue before the massive health gains that have been made since Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin are lost forever."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark Woolhouse & Jeremy Farrar. Policy: An intergovernmental panel on antimicrobial resistance. Nature, May 2014 DOI: 10.1038/509555a

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Antibiotic crisis needs united global response, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522133402.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2014, May 22). Antibiotic crisis needs united global response, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522133402.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Antibiotic crisis needs united global response, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140522133402.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins