Antibacterial agents in clinical development

As part of implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO drew up a list of priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens (priority pathogens list; PPL) to guide research into and the discovery and development of new antibiotics. As a further step, WHO reviewed the publicly available information on the current clinical development pipeline of antibacterial agents to assess the extent to which the drug candidates act against these priority pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Clostridium difficile.

The review shows that the current clinical pipeline is still insufficient to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

To read this report in full: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/258965/1/WHO-EMP-IAU-2017.11-eng.pdf?ua=1

 

 

EU and FAO join forces to take action on food waste and antimicrobial resistance

The EU and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations join forces to take action on food waste and antimicrobial resistance.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) José Graziano da Silva, today agreed to ramp up collaboration between the two organisations in tackling the problems of waste in food supply chains and antimicrobial resistance.

The FAO and the EU pledge to work closely together to halve per capita food waste by 2030, a goal established under the new Sustainable Development Goals global agenda. It also commits them to intensified cooperation on tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on farms and in food systems.

To read more about these initiatives on the European Commission website: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-3561_en.htm

Germany promotes G20 initiative against antimicrobial resistance

The German government’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is dedicating up to EUR 500 million in the coming decade to support the G20’s international research initiative devoted to fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The initiative was announced in the G20 leaders’ final declaration at the end of the G20 summit in July. The BMBF’s funding pledge came shortly afterwards.

Germany has played a decisive role in getting the AMR initiative up and running during its G20 presidency. Ahead of the summit in Hamburg, the country organised and held the first-ever meeting solely for G20 health ministers.

To read more about this initiative on the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy website: http://www.exportinitiative-gesundheitswirtschaft.de/EIG/Redaktion/EN/Kurzmeldungen/News/2017/2017-08-15-germany-promotes-g20-initiative-against-antimicrobial-resistance.html

 

The world is running out of antibiotics

An analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis, launched by WHO shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The report found very few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections identified by WHO as posing the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis which kills around 250 000 people each year.

Source: WHO | The world is running out of antibiotics, WHO report confirms

7% of antibiotics in the EU are taken without prescription

A study published today on antimicrobial resistance and the causes of non-prudent use of antibiotics carried out by Nivel (NL) as part of the EU-funded project ARNA, estimates that 7% of antibiotics taken in the EU are taken without a prescription. The highest rates of non-prescription use of antibiotics are in Romania (20%) and Greece (16%) with high rates also found in Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Spain. Over the counter selling of antibiotics in pharmacies and the use of leftover antibiotics were found to be the main causes.

The study gives a number of policy recommendations, for example:

  • A multi-faceted approach with interventions and policies that target both patients and healthcare professionals
  • Education and awareness raising, e.g. media campaigns for citizens staring with school children, and education programmes for health professionals
  • Better enforcement of laws in EU countries where antibiotics are available over the counter without prescription.

Read the study on antimicrobial resistance in full on the europe.eu website.

EU Action Plan on AMR

The EU has published its Action Plan to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – a growing threat that is responsible for 25,000 deaths and a loss of €1.5 billion in the EU every year.

The plan includes guidelines for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, hospital administrators and others who play a role in antimicrobial use to promote their prudent use in people. These guidelines complement infection prevention and control guidelines which may exist at national level. In addition, the plan foresees more than 75 actions built on three main pillars:

  • making the EU a best-practice region
  • boosting research, development and innovation
  • shaping the global agenda

For more information on the Action Plan to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance on the ec.europa.eu website

Health care without harm

Pharmaceuticals in the environment represent a global pollution problem – over 631 different pharmaceutical agents (or their metabolites) have been detected in at least 71 countries covering all continents. Pharmaceutical residues have been detected in surface water, sewage effluents, groundwater, drinking water, manure, soil, and other environmental matrices. Antibiotics in the environment can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens – a major global health threat. Also, little is known about the effects on humans from continuous, long-term exposure to low concentrations of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical substances are often engineered so
that they remain unchanged during their passage through the human body; unfortunately this stability means they also persist outside the human body and, as a consequence, can build up in the environment. Several studies have confirmed that medicines pose environmental risks, and that concentrations found in the environment can have detrimental effects on aquatic systems and wildlife.
The Dutch organisation – health care without harm Europe – has produced a report outlining what steps are being taken in Europe to reduce anti-microbial resistance (AMR) and offers opportunities for countries to work together on this shared problem.
To download the summary report on health care without harm from the ec.europa.eu website

Public consultation on AMR

The European Commission will be launching a ‘One Health’ action plan to support Member States in the fight against antimicrobial resistance  and is currently asking for the views and input of citizens, administrations, associations and other organisations.

Respondents are invited to take part in the consultation by completing an online questionnaire, either the one for administrations, associations and other organisations, or the one for citizens.

To take part in the consultation as an organisation or as a citizen

The consultation period ends on the 28th April 2017

Carbapenem-resistant A. Baumannii

Outbreaks of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii in healthcare facilities have been reported in Europe and worldwide.

Infections with carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii occur in patients with severe underlying diseases, mainly in intensive care units, and are often related to invasive procedures or indwelling devices. However, such infections are increasingly being reported in patients admitted to conventional medical/surgical wards and A. baumannii is difficult to eradicate once it has become endemic.

While carbapenems traditionally were the antibiotics of choice for treatment of A. baumannii infections, resistance to these drugs has led to increased use of colistin as last-line treatment. Although still rare, resistance to colistin in A. baumannii is also increasingly being reported in Europe.

This is a significant threat to patients and healthcare systems in all EU/EEA countries and the risks need to be reduced through clinical management, prevention of transmission in hospitals and other healthcare settings, prevention of cross-border transmission, and improvement of preparedness of EU/EEA countries.

For more information on Anti-Microbial Resistance on the ecdc.europa.eu website

Resistant bacteria spreading in hospitals across Europe

Antibiotic resistance is widespread across the whole of Europe. High resistance, often seen in the southern and eastern countries of the European Union, is also found in the eastern part of the European Region. In particular, resistant bacteria are spreading in hospitals and health care settings, putting patients at risk of contracting incurable diseases. This is the concerning picture painted by the second Central Asian and Eastern European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (CAESAR) report, published by WHO.

The aim of the report is to provide guidance and inspiration to countries that are building or strengthening their national AMR surveillance and to stimulate the sharing of data internationally. 19 non-EU countries are engaged in CAESAR (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.)

More information about Anti-Microbial Resistance in Europe on the euro.who.int website