Antibiotics have been a critical tool since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, saving the lives of millions of people and animals around the world. The increasing emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms is reducing the efficacy of these lifesaving drugs. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been recognized as a global threat to health security in different declarations by international fora such as the United Nations General Assembly, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), G7 and G20.
To address AMR, a comprehensive and multifaceted strategy implemented across the One Health continuum is required that brings together human, animal, plant and environmental health sectors. Such a strategy should include:
- increasing global research and development collaboration
- reducing the spread of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention and control measures
- improving surveillance both of AMR and antimicrobial usage
- optimising the use of antimicrobial compounds in all sectors and strengthening waste management, and
- increasing basic research and translational studies to support the development of new treatments, preventive measures, diagnostics and alternatives to antimicrobials.
There is a need to increase funding and incentives for research and development (R&D) to increase knowledge and understanding of AMR and to build upon current efforts for developing new antimicrobials, diagnostics, preventives and alternatives to antimicrobials.
The Global AMR R&D Hub was launched in May 2018, following a call from G20 Leaders, to address challenges and improve coordination and collaboration in global AMR R&D using a One Health approach. It is a global partnership currently consisting of 17 countries, the European Commission and two philanthropic foundations. The work of the Global AMR R&D Hub is steered by a Board of Members.
The Global AMR R&D Hub collects and presents information on AMR R&D investments and market interventions. This information is intended for countries, foundations, organisations and initiatives to help set priorities and maximise the impact of resources invested in R&D to mitigate the AMR threat. To achieve its vision and objectives, as outlined in the Terms of Reference, the Global AMR R&D Hub’s strategic approach is delineated into three pillars:
- Guide and support evidence-based decision making;
- Enhance collaboration and coordination; and;
- Promote awareness, knowledge and visibility.
Consolidated information on AMR R&D provided by the Global AMR R&D Hub’s Dynamic Dashboard and resulting analyses is intended to assist with the identification of global AMR R&D priorities. Over time, the information provided and further activities of the Global AMR R&D Hub will help to support and improve coordination and collaboration in AMR R&D. This will be assisted by the Hub’s effort to strengthen awareness at high political levels of the role of R&D to address AMR.