The World Health Organization has declared that antimicrobial resistance is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. It requires urgent multisectoral action in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Improving evidence for action is crucial to tackle this global challenge. The number of interventions for antimicrobial resistance is increasing but current research has major limitations in terms of efforts, methods, scope, quality and reporting.
Moving the agenda forward requires an improved understanding of the diversity and feasibility of interventions, the factors that influence their effectiveness, and the ways in which individual interventions might interact to affect actions against antimicrobial resistance in different contexts.
As part of efforts to strengthen the global governance of antimicrobial resistance, a group of international research experts is advocating for an evidence-based approach to the challenge through the creation of an international One Health platform for online learning that will synthesize the evidence for actions on antimicrobial resistance into a fully accessible database.
The researchers discuss this One Health learning approach to antimicrobial resistance in an article published in Lancet Infectious Diseases (1 Dec 2020), noting that there are currently significant limitations in terms of availability of context-specific evidence on appropriate actions to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
The proposed platform will also offer new scientific insights into the design, implementation, evaluation and reporting of the range of interventions relevant to addressing antimicrobial resistance.
“Fundamental gaps in knowledge hinder action against antimicrobial resistance, but the limitations of research into interventions for antimicrobial resistance serve as even bigger obstacles,” the authors say.
The range of interventions to tackle antimicrobial resistance is wide: from simple actions to complex ones, from regulatory to behavioural approaches, and from those focusing on prevention of infection to those focusing on responsible use of antimicrobials. Therefore, it is crucial to consolidate an evidence-based approach to the challenge.
The authors also note that the open access One Health learning platform will be useful to health-care professionals, public health practitioners, policymakers, industries and consumer groups.
“Ultimately, this will contribute to building societal resilience to this central challenge of the 21st century.”
Wernli, D., Jørgensen, P.S., Parmley, E.J., Troell, M., Majowicz, S., Harbarth, S., Léger, A., Lambraki, I., Graells, T., Henriksson, P.J.G., Carson, C., Cousins, M., Ståhlgren, G.S., Mohan, C.V., Simpson, A.J.H., Wieland, B., Pedersen, K., Schneider, A., Chandy, S.J., Wijayathilaka, T.P., Delamare-Deboutteville, J., Vila, J., Lundborg, C.S. and Pittet, D. 2020. Evidence for action: A One Health learning platform on interventions to tackle antimicrobial resistance. Lancet Infectious Diseases 20(12): e307–e311.