Fighting AMR in the era of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease

The threat posed by antimicrobial resistance was high on the agenda at the FIS/HIS International online conference, where Evelina Tacconelli called for action. Louise Frampton reports on proceedings.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare AMR as “one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity”. However, countries across Europe report significant variations in performance when it comes to antibiotic resistance, prompting Professor Tacconelli to call for consistent healthcare standards in Europe, along with an increased focus on infection control.

           As part of the FIS/HIS Lowbury Lecture, Professor Tacconelli gave a presentation on ‘Linking infection control to clinical management of infections to overcome antimicrobial resistance’. While the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has hit the headlines, the threat posed by AMR has the potential to pose the greatest risk of all, if nations do not act now.

           “When we see the resistance rates for carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, reported by the Combacte-Magnet Epidemiology Network (EPI-Net),1 can we really believe we have the same healthcare standards across Europe? The difference in resistance rates must be considered a threat for EU public health and the rights of EU citizens for equal healthcare standards,” she argued.

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