WHO Releases Report on Antibiotic Resistance

May 7, 2014 07:44 AM

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report on worldwide antibiotic resistance (AMR), calling it a major worldwide threat to public health. The report says resistance to common bacteria has reached alarming levels in many parts of the world and that in some settings, few, if any, of the available treatments options remain effective for common infections.

The report also finds surveillance of AMR is neither coordinated nor harmonized and there are many gaps in information on bacteria of major public health importance. It concludes that strengthening global AMR surveillance is critical as it is the basis for informing global strategies, monitoring the effectiveness of public health interventions and detecting new trends and threats.

The report focuses much of its recommendations on human health interventions to reduce AMR urging people to use antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor and for doctors to only prescribe antibiotics when medically necessary.

A chapter is also dedicated to AMR in livestock production and the food chain saying that "Antimicrobial resistance has an impact on animal health, with potential adverse effects on food production and microorganisms resistant to antimicrobials that emerge in animals may spread to human populations."

Source: American Meat Institute

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