Date: 25 March 2019
A new campaign by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is shining a light on the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the research response required.
'Tackling AMR' highlights the role research has to play in combating the AMR threat and how the NIHR can support researchers, life science industry and other key players to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
AMR is a priority for global health. Antimicrobial resistant infections are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally. This is predicted to rise to 10 million by 2050 if no action is taken.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to the drugs used to treat the infections they cause.
No new classes of antibiotic have been discovered since the 1980 and the excessive and inappropriate use of the antibiotics we have is on the rise.
The UK government’s goal is to contain and control antimicrobial resistance by 2040.
Dr Jane Minton, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Infection, said:
“Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to healthcare but new antibiotics are not the only solution. Antibiotic stewardship, vaccines and new diagnostics all have a role to play.
“There is no silver bullet when it comes tackling the threat of AMR, but it’s clear that the government’s goal to contain and control antimicrobial resistance by 2040 depends on clinical research. This is where the NIHR has an important role to play.”
Professor Martin Llewelyn, NIHR antimicrobial resistance lead, said:
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest challenges facing the world, but enticing industry to develop new drugs is just one part of the bigger AMR puzzle. We must ensure the antibiotics we have, and any new ones developed, are used in the right way. Unless we tackle the problem of poor prescribing and overuse of antibiotics, the government’s vision will remain just that.
“Acknowledging the enormous threat that antimicrobial resistance poses to the NHS, the NIHR is actively supporting AMR studies and we are looking increase the investigator led and industry funded studies on the Infection portfolio supported by the NIHR.”
Find out more about the campaign: Tackling AMR
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