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Antimicrobial Resistance: In Search of a Collaborative Solution

Antimicrobial Resistance: In Search of a Collaborative Solution

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Emiliano Rial Verde

This report focuses on how bacterial bodies become resistant to the agents meant to kill them and how this poses an emergent threat across species and national borders.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial medicine to which it was originally sensitive. Resistant organisms are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial medicines, such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing risk of spread to others. The evolution of resistant strains is a natural phenomenon that happens when microorganisms are exposed to antimicrobial drugs, and resistant traits can be exchanged between certain types of bacteria. The misuse of antimicrobial medicines accelerates this natural phenomenon and poor infection control practices encourage the spread of AMR. The development of AMR is a natural phenomenon. However, certain human actions actually accelerate the emergence and spread of AMR. AMR is a complex problem driven by many interconnected factors, so single and isolated interventions have little impact and coordinated actions are required. This Forum will focus on the actions that can be taken to combat AMR, including fostering coordinated actions by all stakeholders, creating policy guidance, supporting surveillance, providing technical assistance, and fostering innovation in research and development.

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Professor Dame Sally Davies

Professor Dame Sally Davies was appointed Chief Medical Officer in 2010. Previous career highlights include developing the National Institute for Health Research. Sally also chairs the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and is a member of the board of the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research and the Medical Research Council, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Advisory Committee on Health Research, the International Advisory Committee for A*STAR in Singapore, and the Caribbean Health Research Council. In addition, Sally advises many organizations on research strategy and evaluation, including the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council