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 Organisation 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 Research and Development (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. The Global AMR R&D Hub supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on allocation of resources for AMR R&D through the identification of gaps, overlaps and potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging in AMR R&D. It is a global partnership currently consisting of 16 countries, the European Commission and two philanthropic foundations. The work of the Global AMR R&D Hub is steered by a Board of Members.