World Bank report says ‘AMR-smart’ solutions needed to beat superbugs and ensure a healthier future


Pipetting in ILRI’s bioscience laboratories (photo credit: ILRI/David White)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a silent pandemic that is a growing threat to public health leading to approximately 700,000 deaths each year and this number could increase to nearly 10 million deaths by 2050. The latest World Bank AMR report ‘Pulling together to beat superbugs: knowledge and implementation gaps in addressing antimicrobial resistance’ looks at seven case studies across the world which illustrate the critical need for contextualization in the efforts to curb AMR.

According to the report, ‘countries can make AMR-related investments more efficient and cost-effective by improving both technical capacity and data quality as well as enhancing inter-agency coordination and building public awareness of the AMR challenge’. By using country-based case studies and identifying the key knowledge and implementation gaps, the report lays out an agenda for the research community to move AMR knowledge from the laboratory to the real world by focusing on improving the effectiveness of interventions through policies, programs and practices. It calls on the development community to focus on ‘AMR-smart’ solutions that go beyond technical efforts that solely focus on the misuse of antimicrobials.

The CGIAR AMR Hub, which is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has been applying a holistic approach to support the efforts of low- and middle-income countries (LIMCs) who bear the greatest burden of the AMR challenge.

Of the 23 key knowledge and implementation gaps identified in the World Bank report, ‘Limited capacity to identify and measure potential co-benefits across a broad array of AMR-sensitive interventions in country-specific contexts’ stands out. While this is true, the CGIAR AMR Hub is already researching interventions that would reduce antimicrobial use in aquaculture systems in LIMCs.

The external group of experts who provided inputs to this landmark report included individuals working at the CGIAR AMR Hub. Evelyn Wesangula (Ministry of Health, Kenya), Dieter Schillinger (ILRI/CGIAR), Jeff Waage (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) contributed to the report. Philip Amoah (IWMI/CGIAR) and Hung Nguyen (ILRI/CGIAR) reviewed the case studies in the report.

Download the full English version report: World Bank. 2019. “Pulling together to beat superbugs: knowledge and implementation gaps in addressing antimicrobial resistance.” Washington, DC: World Bank. 

Review Jonathan Wadsworth presentation on fighting superbugs: