Bugs Without Borders: A Data-Driven Approach to Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance

Friday, 13 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL20C (San Jose Convention Center)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat that has been referred to in the same terms as that posed by terrorism and climate change. A total of 50,000 people die from sepsis every year in the European Union and the United States. In Southeast Asia, one young child dies every five minutes because of AMR. The ability for doctors to prescribe antibiotics to combat infection has been part of modern medicine since Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. However, widespread, and sometimes unregulated, use of antibiotics creates massive selective evolutionary pressure on microbes to develop resistance to each new class of drug deployed. Throughout most of the 20th century, new drugs were discovered that could be used as resistance to old drugs developed. But now the cupboard is bare. Not a single new class of antibiotic has been discovered since 1987. The problem spans beyond medical practice because antibiotics used in agriculture as a substitute for hygiene contributes to the problem, since resistance genes are easily transferred between bacterial species within microbial communities. AMR is as much a public policy problem as a medical problem, and the key to solving it is information. Data on prescription practices and surveillance are vital in fighting AMR, as are genomic data being mined in search of novel genes and other information that could provide new antimicrobials. The problem is an international one: bugs know no borders and coordinated approaches across borders will provide the ammunition to fight the war on AMR.
Stefania Di Mauro-Nava, British Consulate-General
Lindsay R. Chura, British Embassy
Sally Davies, U.K. Department of Health
Sharon Peacock, University of Cambridge
Mining the Genome To Tackle AMR
Anthony Kessel, Public Health England
Back in Time: Surveillance for Public Health Action
Steve Solomon, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Last Line of Defense: New Solutions in the Fight Against AMR
Rainer Engelhardt, Public Health Agency of Canada
The One Health Approach to Antimicrobial Resistance
Dirceu Barbano, Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency
Health Surveillance in Emerging Economies