Understanding antibiotic resistance
Understanding antibiotic resistance

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Understanding antibiotic resistance

Week 7: Reducing antibiotic use

Introduction

At this point in the course, you should appreciate that our use of antibiotics is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance led by Jim O’Neill (2016) proposed a ten-point plan to tackle the problem (Figure 1).

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Figure 1 The ten-point plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance (O’Neill, 2016).

Begin this week by watching the following video which introduces the ten-point plan from the O’Neill report.

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Transcript: Video 1 Ten steps to reducing antimicrobial resistance.

TEXT ON SCREEN
The 10 steps to reducting AMR according to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance.
1 Public awareness. Improving global awareness of AMR to reduce use of antibiotics when theyre not needed.
2 Improved hygiene. Focus on improving basic access to water and sanitation, and reduce infectious diseases in hospital and care settings.
3 Reducing antibiotics in agriculture and their dissemination in the environment, as well as use simply to promote growth.
4 Global surveillance of AMR. From levels of drug resistance to consumption of antimicrobials in both humans and animals.
5 Develop rapid diagnostics. Investing in the Global Innovation Fund to revolutionise the way antimicrobials are used.
6 New vaccines and alternatives. Lowering the demand for reactive treatments and renew early research for vaccines.
7 Recognition of hard work. Increasing the numbers of people working in infectious disease, the recognition of those already doing so, and improving pay for important work.
8 Creating a Global Innovations Fund. Supporting early-stage development in a field where public and private R&D is lacking.
9 Incentives for investment. Creating a commercial viable market for antibiotics that will incentivise investment in R&D spending.
10 Collaboration on a global scale. Bringing together global partners including the G20 and the UN to build worldwide support against AMR.
End transcript: Video 1 Ten steps to reducing antimicrobial resistance.
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Video 1 Ten steps to reducing antimicrobial resistance.
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In Weeks 5 and 6, you looked at two of these ten points – surveillance and drugs. You saw how antibiotic-resistant infections can be tracked and how new antibiotics are being developed. This week, you will look at two other points mentioned in the O’Neill report – sanitation and hygiene, and rapid diagnostics.

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • reflect on how antibiotic use can be reduced
  • understand how infections are transmitted
  • describe the role of good hygiene in reducing the spread of infectious diseases
  • give examples of how the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant infections can be improved to reduce antibiotic use.
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