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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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