Antimicrobial resistance: One world, one fight!

for the World Healthcare-Associated Infections Resistance Forum participants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The lack of new antibiotic classes calls for a cautious use of existing agents. Yet, every 10 min, almost two tons of antibiotics are used around the world, all too often without any prescription or control. The use, overuse and misuse of antibiotics select for resistance in numerous species of bacteria which then renders antimicrobial treatment ineffective. Almost all countries face increased antimicrobial resistance (AMR), not only in humans but also in livestock and along the food chain. The spread of AMR is fueled by growing human and animal populations, uncontrolled contamination of fresh water supplies, and increases in international travel, migration and trade. In this context of global concern, 68 international experts attending the fifth edition of the World HAI Resistance Forum in June 2015 shared their successes and failures in the global fight against AMR. They underlined the need for a "One Health" approach requiring research, surveillance, and interventions across human, veterinary, agricultural and environmental sectors. This strategy involves concerted actions on several fronts. Improved education and increased public awareness are a well-understood priority. Surveillance systems monitoring infections need to be expanded to include antimicrobial use, as well as the emergence and spread of AMR within clinical and environmental samples. Adherence to practices to prevent and control the spread of infections is mandatory to reduce the requirement of antimicrobials in general care and agriculture. Antibiotics need to be banned as growth promoters for farm animals in countries where it has not yet been done. Antimicrobial stewardship programmes in animal husbandry have proved to be efficient for minimising AMR, without compromising productivity. Regarding the use of antibiotics in humans, new tools to provide highly specific diagnoses of pathogens can decrease diagnostic uncertainty and improve clinical management. Finally, infection prevention and control measures - some of them as simple as hand hygiene - are essential and should be extended beyond healthcare settings. Aside from regulatory actions, all people can assist in AMR reduction by limiting antibiotic use for minor illnesses. Together, we can all work to reduce the burden of AMR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalAntimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 18 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Animal health
  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Antimicrobial conservation
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Global health
  • Hand hygiene
  • Infection control
  • One health
  • Surveillance networks
  • World healthcare-associated infections resistance forum


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