The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) is tackling antimicrobial resistance, one of the world’s biggest public health issues, through a new program called the Antimicrobial Stewardship Project (ASP). The ASP will help address this issue by providing current, free, accurate and comprehensive information and educational resources on antimicrobial stewardship practice, research and policy.
Antimicrobial stewardship refers to efforts to improve the appropriate use of antimicrobials by promoting the selection of optimal antimicrobial drug regimen, dose, duration of therapy, and route of administration. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans and animals contributes to the increased occurrence of disease-causing microbes developing resistance and subsequently reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating infectious diseases. A recent comprehensive report on antimicrobial resistance estimates that globally, about 700,000 people die every year from drug-resistant strains of common bacterial infections, HIV, TB and malaria.
“CIDRAP is offering our knowledge and expertise in antimicrobial resistance to help provide possible solutions to this growing global public health problem,” said Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., Regents Professor and director of CIDRAP. “We’ve assembled a panel of 13 internationally renowned advisory experts to work with us. These people have expertise in a wide range of areas, including antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance, clinical and veterinary medicine, clinical pharmacology, and public health.”
Antimicrobial stewardship must be addressed globally versus on a per country basis because the problem of resistance is found on every continent and transcends political boundaries. The CIDRAP ASP initiative intends to promote global collaboration through engagement of international experts and through working closely with other international programs devoted to addressing the problems of antimicrobial resistance.
The development of the ASP will assemble multiple initiatives to bring together the most current information we have available to create a “one stop shop” website.
The new ASP website will feature:
· Expert webinars and podcasts
· ASP news and information
· Online resources available from the U.S. and other countries
· Online journal club
· Policy updates
· Bibliographies and online resources
· Events calendar and conference summaries
· Social media outreach
CIDRAP’s new website will continue to report from a news perspective and will provide the most comprehensive news and information both existing and new along with original content.
“The best science in the world isn’t worth much unless it translates into good policies. We’re working to marry these segments with the ASP,” said Osterholm.
Osterholm believes this has implications for health today but also for decades to come. By 2050, antimicrobial resistance could be a bigger killer worldwide than either heart disease or cancer unless we take action to address this evolving crisis today.