UK Department of Health
has published the first annual progress report on its five year action plan to
combat the dangerous public health issue of antimicrobial drug resistance,
known as AMR.
The UK Five
Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy was launched in
2013, with the aims of
improving understanding of AMR, preserving the potency of current
antimicrobials through good stewardship, and driving the development of new
diagnostics, antibiotics and other forms of treatment.
Now the 2014 Annual progress report and implementation plan sets out the key achievements of the
strategy so far, notably:
for how key infections and antimicrobial use will be measured over time have
been agreed and initial (baseline) data from NHS England released.
surveillance of AMR in veterinary pathogens has been established and surveillance
for food-borne pathogens expanded.
- A new
World Health Organisation (WHO) Resolution on AMR has been passed, led by the
UK and Sweden, to create a WHO-led ‘One-Health’ Global Action Plan by May 2015.
UK, in conjunction with the Netherlands and Sweden, led the development of the AMR
Action Package within the Global Health Security Agenda.
UK is leading the Heads
of Medicines Agencies Task Force on AMR .
national independent Review on AMR has been established to look at the antimicrobial
drugs pipeline and recommend actions to stimulate new developments.
towards a similar review the current status of diagnostics have been taken,
with plans to create a framework for prompt and better diagnostic testing in
the review sets out an implementation plan highlighting the most important
actions for slowing the spread of AMR. These are said to be robust infection
prevention and control (IPC) practices and antimicrobial stewardship; ensuring
a sustainable pipeline of suitable new diagnostics and treatments; better
research and leadership; ongoing participation in global efforts to address
AMR; and improved public awareness. Success in this last area has already been
demonstrated by the dedication of the high-profile Longitude Prize
to tackling AMR, a choice made by
Laura Blackburn, project manager at the PHG Foundation and one of the team
working on the infectious disease genomics project, commented:
“This report demonstrates why it
is vital that we tackle the threat of AMR before the treatments that we have
become ineffective, which could lead to previously easy to treat infections
becoming fatal. It is encouraging to note the importance the report places on
the role of current and emerging technologies, including genomics, in the
development of new diagnostics and infection response, for example through
Health Innovation Challenge Fund projects. Our work in this area indicates that
targeted use of genomics can have a significant impact on infection control
efforts, where conventional methods are not able to determine the source and
spread of outbreaks”.