A new report titled “UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018” sets out actions to address the key challenges to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The report provides background on the issue and outlines a “One Health” approach encompassing people, animals, agriculture and the wider environment. The authors note, however, that human uses of antimicrobials appear to be the primary driver in the emergence of AMR.

UK antimicrobial resistance strategy stresses role of human uses“Increasing scientific evidence suggests that the clinical issues with antimicrobial resistance that we face in human medicine are primarily the result of antibiotic use in people, rather than the use of antibiotics in animals,” the report reads. “Nevertheless, use of antibiotics in animals is an important factor contributing to the wider pool of resistance which may have long term consequences. “

The overarching goal of the UK Strategy is to slow the development and spread of AMR by focusing on three primary strategies:  

  • Improve the knowledge and understanding of AMR.
  • Conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments.
  • Stimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostics and novel therapies.

The authors note that ensuring responsible and less-frequent use of antibiotics will not happen overnight. The process will require the full commitment and engagement of a range of experts, professionals and the public as part of a wider movement to change practices that have contributed to the rapid development of AMR and to reducing the effectiveness of many medical treatments. “Everyone has a responsibility and a role to play in making this happen.”

Read the full report online.