AMR in the news, relevant reports and documents, and more. 

 AMR In The News 

AMR in the Light of COVID-19: A Webinar Series

September 20, 2020 | Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Each of us is now living in a world with a nearly untreatable virus — but COVID-19 is not the only threat that we are facing. Many bacterial and fungal infections that were previously considered treatable are no longer responding to the drugs designed to kill them. COVID-19 foreshadows a grim future if we do not mobilize a global response to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Through a four-part series, global experts will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic could reshape strategies for combating antimicrobial resistance around the world.

Antimicrobial Resistance is the Next Battle

July 13, 2020 | Financial Times

The COVID-19 pandemic teaches us that the world needs to be better prepared for global health threats. Pharmaceutical companies are pulling out all the stops to tackle coronavirus through new treatments and vaccines, but we are playing catch-up. We need to start investing ahead of outbreaks. Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, is just such a threat, but, unlike Covid-19, AMR is predictable. Scientists already track increasing rates of antibiotic resistance and the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified the bacteria that pose the greatest risks to human health.

Drug-Resistant Superbugs: A Global Threat Intensified by the Fight Against Coronavirus

April 20, 2020 | The Conversation Canada

With the world’s attention on COVID-19, I believe that now is the time to talk about another pandemic that’s been happening right under our noses: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). When infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi stop responding to the medicines designed to treat them, that’s AMR. Resistance builds over time through overexposure to antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, or disinfectants. With ineffective treatments, these infections persist in the body and ultimately spread to others.

The Dangerous Legacy of COVID-19

April 1, 2020 | The Globe and Mail

The widespread, inadvertent use of antimicrobial drugs in this pandemic could leave us with another, more dangerous legacy: a dramatic increase in drug-resistant infections. Drug-resistant infections (often referred to as “superbugs”) emerge through a complex interplay of humans, animals and the environment. Excessive and increased use of antibiotics over several decades has led to a growing list of organisms that no longer respond to treatment. It’s called antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. It costs us $1.4-billion annually and, before this pandemic, it was predicted to cause the loss of 256,000 Canadian lives by 2050.

How Can We Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis? [Video]

March 9, 2020 | The Globe and Mail

Antibiotics enable much of modern medicine. We use them to cure infectious diseases, and to safely facilitate everything from surgeries to chemotherapy to organ transplants. Without them, even routine medical procedures can lead to life-threatening infections. And we're at risk of losing them. Unfortunately, some bacteria have become resistant to all currently available antibiotics.

 Scientific Literature 

Multilevel Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance Risks: A Literature Review

June 30, 2020 | Journal of Risk Research

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasing and spreading throughout the world. Many academic publications address the human health care, veterinary, food safety and environmental aspects of this cross-border challenge. This paper focuses on the broader issue of the governance of AMR at multiple levels, from local to global. The paper provides a literature overview on the full complexity of the governance of the risk. A structured search strategy was applied using online databases. The literature is analyzed and presented along five themes that were distilled: levels, sectors, responsibilities, uncertainties, and values. On top of the medical-technical dimension of AMR, these five themes need to be taken into account for the governance of AMR risks.

Aquaculture at the Crossroads of Global Warming and Antimicrobial Resistance

April 20, 2020 | Nature

In many developing countries, aquaculture is key to ensuring food security for millions of people. It is thus important to measure the full implications of environmental changes on the sustainability of aquaculture. We conduct a double meta-analysis (460 articles) to explore how global warming and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) impact aquaculture. We calculate a Multi-Antibiotic Resistance index (MAR) of aquaculture-related bacteria (11,274 isolates) for 40 countries, of which mostly low- and middle-income countries present high AMR levels. Here we show that aquaculture MAR indices correlate with MAR indices from human clinical bacteria, temperature and countries’ climate vulnerability. We also find that infected aquatic animals present higher mortalities at warmer temperatures. Countries most vulnerable to climate change will probably face the highest AMR risks.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission on Antimicrobial Resistance: 6 Years Later

April 1, 2020 | The Lancet

In 2013, a Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission described the state of antimicrobial resistance worldwide. Since then, greater awareness of the public health ramifications of antimicrobial resistance has led to national actions and global initiatives, including a resolution at the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly in 2016. Progress in addressing this issue has ranged from a ban on irrational drug combinations in India to commitments to ban colistin as a growth promoter in animals, improve hospital infection control, and implement better antimicrobial stewardship. Funds have been mobilised, and regulatory barriers to new antibiotic development have been relaxed. These efforts have been episodic and uneven across countries, however.

 Reports & Documents 

Series 1 Town Hall: Summary of Findings

October 20, 2020 | Project: AMR Network

Throughout August and September of 2020, we consulted with Canada's broader AMR community over Zoom about eight potential network functions. This report summarizes the input, observations, advice, and concerns of 150 stakeholders from across Canada.

When Antibiotics Fail

November 12, 2019 | Council of Canadian Academies

When Antibiotics Fail examines the current impacts of AMR on our healthcare system, projects the future impact on Canada’s GDP, and looks at how widespread resistance will influence the day-to-day lives of Canadians. The report examines these issues through a One Health lens, recognizing the interconnected nature of AMR, from healthcare settings to the environment to the agriculture sector. It is the most comprehensive report to date on the economic impact of AMR in Canada.

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action

September 5, 2017 | Public Health Agency of Canada

This Framework builds upon the AMR work that is already underway in the human and animal health sectors and strives to connect all these pieces together. Implementation of the Framework will require continued engagement and committed actions by governments, industry and stakeholders in each of the four components to enable a sustainable and effective pan-Canadian response to AMR. The Framework provides the foundation to spur further action and collaboration among partners in human and animal sectors to minimize the impact of AMR, and to ensure that antimicrobials will continue to be an effective tool in protecting the health of Canadians. These actions will be identified through the subsequent development of the pan-Canadian action plan, which will lay out the details of concrete deliverables, measurable outcomes and timeframes.