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SUMMARY

European Union
European Organisations
Civil Society
International Media
National Media
Events

European Union

Finger prick test awarded first Horizon prize

European Comission

BEUC campaign wins 2016 EU Health Award for NGOs

European Commission


A prize of EUR 1 million was awarded to the Minicare HNL, a rapid diagnostic test that almost instantly distinguishes bacterial infections from viral ones. With only a finger prick, the test can identify a blood protein that is released in response to bacterial infection. This new technology has the potential to drastically reduce misdiagnosis and the inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics that occurs as a result. 
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The Comission's EU health award recognises the efforts of NGOs to reduce the threat of AMR. The European Consumer Organisation received the first prize for their campaign "From Farm to You," which raises awareness of the link between antimicrobial use in agriculture and AMR. The second prize was awarded to the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics, and the World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance took home third. 
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EU "One Health" Network on AMR holds first meeting

European Commission

Chief public health and veterinary officers from all 28 Member States met in Brussels on the 23rd of February for the first One-Health Network meeting on AMR. The Network will promote cooperation between countries on AMR and facilitate the sharing of best practices and policy strategies. 
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European Organisations

New report by EFSA and ECDC highlights increased threat of multi-drug resistance

European Food Safety Authority, 22 February 2017

The report analyses data submitted by Member States in 2015, focusing on pigs, cattle, and meat derived therof. A few troubling findings were made, such as the multi-drug resistance of certain Salmonella strains, as well as the emergence of colistin and carbapenem resistant pathogens. 
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Swedish MPs call for stronger EU action on AMR

EurActiv

The threat of antimicrobial resistance demands effort at a global level, which the EU must initiate. However, this requires swift action to end harmful practices such as the preventative group treatment of livestock that is still common in many Member States. The Swedish agricultural model provides evidence of the existence of achievable solutions. Now it is up to the EU and the international community to act responsibly.
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Civil Society

MSF taking on antimicrobial resistance

Médecins Sans Frontières, 17 February 2017

In less developed health systems, antimicrobial resistant infections are extremely difficult to control. From treating countless patients, from neonates to burn victims, Doctors Without Borders know first hand the added challenge frequently presented by AMR.
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Guidelines for health professionals

Health Care Without Harm Europe

In a new publication, HCWH outlines the various factors that contribute to AMR in the environment, human health, and agriculture, and gives clear recommendations to health professionals on how to reduce the risks. 
Get the article

International Media

WHO names 12 priority pathogens

World Health Organization, 27 February 2017

The WHO has drawn up a list of the 12 families of microbes that pose the greatest threat to human health due to increasing multi-drug resistance. With this list, categorised by critical, high, and medium priority, the WHO aims to promote R&D of antibiotics to curb the threat of these specific pathogens. 
See the list here

In a new research approach, MRSA is launched into space 

Forbes, 03 February 2017

Researchers on the International Space Station will study the impact of near-zero gravity on mutation patterns and gene expression of the highly pathenogenic methicilin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Based on the hypothesis that low gravity will accellerate the mutation rate of MRSA, sending the pathogen to space will bring scientists a step ahead in the fight against AMR by offering a preview of how MRSA will evolve on Earth in the future.
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Fighting AMR: a case for the European Union

Nature, 14 February 2017


In light of Brexit, scientists underline the undeniable value of the European Union in addressing health threats that know no border.
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Accelerated resistance in "sleeping" bacteria

Phys.org, 09 February 2017

When exposed to antibiotics, some bacteria enter a stage of dormancy that allows them to survive for the duration of the treatment. Extended duration of treatment aims to kill such bacteria when they wake up. However, a new study shows that once bacteria have evolved a dormancy mechanism, a population develops resistance at 20 times the normal rate. 
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Is it wrong to stop taking antibiotics once symptoms subside?

STAT, 09 February 2017

A new, controversial debate has been sparked about the age-old advice to complete an antibiotic treatment, even if the patient no longer shows symptoms. While widely accepted and circulated since the 1940's, this recommendation is now being contested by a growing number of experts who argue that taking antibiotics for longer periods of time contributes to antimicrobial resistance. Scepticism is increasing and has even caught the attention of WHO and the CDC. 
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Study explores the impact of travel on AMR

Huffington Post, 20 February 2017

Acquiring a bacterial infection while travelling is not uncommon, and countless travellers are prescribed antibiotics every year. Results of a Finnish study show that four out of five travellers who received antibiotics while away harboured resistant strains of bacteria upon return. Most of these were acquired abroad. 
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National Media

Illegal online sales fuel AMR

Imperial College London (UK), 17 February 2017

A survey of online pharmacies accessible to UK citizens found that 45% of websites offer antibiotics without a prescription. While UK high street pharmacies do require a prescription online, 80% allow the patient to choose their own dose. This study reveals a significant loophole in the regulation of antibiotic prescription and sale, which can undermine efforts to reduce inappropriate use. 
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Swedish researcher tackles pharmaceutical pollution and environmental AMR

Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden), 25 February 2017

Professor Joakim Larsson of Gothenburg has been at the forefront of AMR research since studying the impact of pharmaceutical pollution in India over a decade ago. His team made headlines when they they discovered that the Iskavaggu river, contaminated by runoff from 90 pharmaceutical factories, was an antibiotic cocktail, teeming with multi-drug resistant bacteria. 
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Why pathogens have become resistant to antibiotics and antimicrobials

Adevarul (Romania), 23 February 2017

Both the excessive use of antibiotics in human medicine and in animals / food production are driving AMR. In Romania, too many people still manage to buy antibiotics without a prescription. It is argued that some pharmacists are profiting financially from the fact that patients are bypassing doctors, also due to access problems. Stricter regulations are also needed to prevent people from building up home supplies of antibiotics for future use.
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National Plan against antibiotic resistance to be released this spring

La Repubblica (Italy), 27 February 2017

A workshop in Rome brought together Italian policy makers, regulatory agencies, health professionals and patients to define the content of the new National Plan against antibiotic resistance, which is currently awaiting the opinion of the ECDC.
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Veterinarians warn that antibiotic treatment of pets will have consequences for human health

TV 2 (Norway), 26 February 2017

In Norway, antibiotic use in pets has increased by 27% since 1993. Bacteria and small amounts of antibiotics can easily be transferred between animals and their owners, so when a pet is given an antibiotic, the entire household is treated as well. Efforts to reduce veterinary prescribing of antibiotics is therefore of utmost importance in reducing drug resistant infections in humans.
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Dutch Ministry of Health launches signature campaign against antibiotic resistance

Dutch Ministry of Health, 24 February 2017

Led by Minister Edith Schippers, the Dutch MInistry of Health calls on health professionals (GPs, specialists, dentists, vets, hospital managers, etc.) but also members of the public to provide their digital signature in support of the campaign. 
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Events

BSAC Spring Conference

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

The focus of the BSAC Spring Conference will be 'The Global Challenge of Multi-drug Resistant Gram Negative Bacterial Infections.' The conference will be held on March 14th in London. Learn more

21st Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines

World Health Organization

The 21st Committee meeting will be held in Geneva from the 27th to 31st of March, 2017. More info here.
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