Monday, February 20, 2012: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room 109 (VCC West Building)Resistance to antibiotics is a global health concern given that more and more clinically important pathogens are demonstrating that they can win the survival fight when faced with the best treatment drugs that human medicine can provide. Multi-drug resistance in microorganisms has increased, while the rate at which new antibiotic drugs are brought to the marketplace has decreased. There is enough scientific evidence to know that antibiotic resistance elements are dispersed throughout the environment and that pathogenic bacteria have common ancestors in nonpathogenic environmental bacteria. In addition, antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be transferred via the food chain, and antibiotic resistance genes can be transported directly or indirectly via water. Based on this science, what are our next steps? Today, most countries of the developed world have programs to encourage prudent use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine. The health consequences of hospital- or community-acquired infections by superbugs such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are now well known by researchers, medical professionals, and the general public alike. There is broad consensus that the use of antibiotics for growth promotion purposes in production of food animals is not a favorable practice. This session will discuss current issues related to antimicrobial resistance at the nexus of food, water, and the environment in the context of global health.
Patricia L. Keen, University of British Columbia