Antibiotic Resistance: A Year in Review

Jessica Bravignac

Despite extensive scientific research and policy development, urgent and concerted action is needed to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), often referred to as the next (silent) pandemic.

Understanding AMR

AMR occurs when antibiotics are no longer effective against the microorganisms for which they are designed and there are no treatment options to fight the infection. AMR occurs naturally as microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, change or adapt over time, either by changing the targets of antimicrobial agents or by developing and replacing resistance. The abuse and misuse of antibiotics in humans, animals and plants has accelerated this process.

How does AMR spread?

Factors contributing to the global spread of AMR include:

  • Use of antibiotics in agriculture, veterinary medicine and food production
  • Poor infection prevention and control practices
  • Suboptimal use of diagnostic tools for rapid and reliable detection of pathogens and resistance
  • Barriers to access to effective vaccines
  • Shortage of antibiotics to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria
  • Weak or lacking surveillance programs to track localized cases of AMR
  • Lack of a globally harmonized and coordinated response among all countries
  • Globalization increases as populations, animals and food move more, resistance spreads more quickly and easily between countries and continents

However, scientific experts emphasize that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics is the main reason for the spread of AMR.

Studying the effects of AMR

It is estimated that more than 5,400 Canadians die each year from infections caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. Worldwide, AMR is associated with nearly 5 million deaths annually, more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, or breast cancer.

According to a quantitative model developed for the Council of Canadian Academy using existing data, a panel of experts found that 26% of infectious diseases in Canada are resistant to drugs commonly used to treat them. I discovered something. The same report also states that resistance rates are likely to rise to 40% by 2050, resulting in the loss of 15 lives and $396 billion in gross domestic product (GPD) in Canada every day. said to be sexual.

AMR has been recognized as a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control, and was discussed at the 17th G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. International policy bodies and governments have added AMR near the top of their political agendas and have called for more research and action plans.

Make predictions for 2023

The cost of AMR to national economies and their healthcare systems is significant as it impacts the productivity of patients and their caregivers due to longer hospital stays and the need for more expensive and intensive care. Without effective tools for prevention, adequate treatment of drug-resistant infections, and access to quality-assured existing and new antibiotics, treatment failures and infections result in death. the number of people increases.

A key part of the strategic reduction of AMR lies in diagnostic devices that can inform and support clinical decision-making. This ensures that the right patients with the right conditions receive the right antibiotic treatment (dosage and duration).[1] In particular, new syndromic diagnostic techniques have enabled microbiology laboratories to provide this information faster and more accurately than ever before.

The pandemic has shown Canadians the importance of these devices and some of the latest, fast and innovative devices introduced by the federal government. This allowed people to get tested in their own area, closer to home. Diagnostic testing can play a key role for optimal diagnosis of individuals, optimal and cost-effective functioning of healthcare systems, and the benefit of the general public.

Indeed, already in the early 2000s, research and development was underway to transform in-vitro diagnostics from the central laboratory to ‘near the patient’ or ‘bedside’. In Canada, such tests are becoming available beyond clinical biochemistry (such as glucose monitoring in diabetes mellitus) to other pathological areas, including microbiology and hematology.

AMR is an ongoing and growing problem that affects Canada in several ways. While it is important to see what we already know and what has been done so far, we look forward to seeing how diagnostic management and closer-to-patient testing can help fight AMR.

Jessica Bravignac is Director of Scientific and Medical Affairs for bioMérieux Canada.

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Antibiotic Resistance: A Year in Review

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