Friday, November 23, 2012

A "One Health" Approach to Antibiotic Resistance
This is a nice post highlighting the recent symposium "A One Health Approach to Antimicrobial Use & Resistance: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose" that was coordinated by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. This meeting brought together experts in antibiotic resistance from numerous disciplines (following the "One Health" approach that emphasizes interdisciplinary coordination to address global health issues). 

The following were the 'take home points' from the conference: antibiotic resistance is not a new phenomenon, the issue is complex and involves more than just its health implications (also has social, political and economic implications); all communities that use antibiotics are responsible for antimicrobial stewardship; people from all disciplines need to work together to address this important issue. 

The call for a coordinated, interdisciplinary response to antibiotic resistance is sound and necessary; improved antibiotic use in humans is important but the issue must also be addressed in animal populations where the majority of antibiotics are used. The One Health approach emphasizes that experts across the board (veterinarians, physicians, economists, et cetera) and around the globe need to work together to address the issue.

One thing is certain: the time to get aggressive with battling antibiotic resistance is now. We have essentially run out of new antibiotics to combat many resistant infections, and perhaps are nearing the dreaded 'post-antibiotic era.' Although a recent survey by the Pew Health Group indicated that many Americans are aware of the issue of antibiotic resistance, this issue is largely not viewed as a major public health crisis (which it is). 

You can test your knowledge about antibiotics here

1 comment:

  1. Antibiotic resistance has been quite an issue consider the number of people using the medication in treating certain infections. It has been a staple prescription for eradication of possibly life threatening bacterias. I remember my mom scolding me if I don't finish the whole cycle coz the bacteria will shindig like hell according to her. lol.