The UK Government’s proposed new action plan for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) 2019-2024, is a ‘One Health’ approach across human health, agrifood and environmental sectors.
Resistance to antimicrobials is a natural phenomenon but is exacerbated by inappropriate use in human and animal medicine. AMR becomes a public health concern when disease-causing organisms evolve in ways to survive treatments. Antimicrobial resistant-microbes are found in humans, animals and the environment, so each can be considered as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance. These resistant-microbes can transfer within and between each of the reservoirs, for example through person-to-person contact, the spreading of manure onto fields and the preparation and consumption of food. Current surveillance data on AMR are not coordinated across reservoirs to the extent needed to inform more targeted interventions, beyond simply reducing antibiotic use.
The new UK Government five-year national action plan to tackle AMR makes a commitment to investigating the coordination and harmonisation of surveillance schemes across the different sectors and it is hoped will provide a more complete picture of antimicrobial use and resistance that will enable analysis of trends over time and across sectors.
Source: UK Parliament, 19 February 2019