The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has launched a new campaign that highlights the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the research response necessary to tackle it.
The campaign termed 'Tackling AMR' emphasises the role of research in fighting the threat and the contribution of the NIHR in supporting researchers, industry and other key players in addressing the issue. AMR is currently a global health concern accounting for an estimated 700,000 deaths annually across the world. This figure is expected to grow to 10 million by 2050 if any action is not taken. The UK government has established a goal of limiting and controlling AMR by 2040.
The reason for rising AMR is primarily attributed to excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics in the last few years, and the fact that there has not been any discovery of new antibiotic classes since the 1980s.
According to Dr Jane Minton, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Infection, development of new antibiotics is not the exclusive solution to the problem and would largely require the contribution of antibiotic stewardship, vaccines and new diagnostic techniques.