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Commission President Juncker releases white paper on the future of the European Union

Euractiv, 13 March 2017

In early March, the European Commission released a White Paper outlining 5 scenarios for the future of the EU, one of which is "doing less" in the realm of public health. This course of action would weaken Europe's defence against several public health threats, particularly AMR. EPHA Secretary General Nina Renshaw writes for Euractiv why unravelling EU health protection is not an option.
Get the article here.  

UN announces interagency group on AMR

UN News Centre, 16 March 2017

The Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, will serve to support national governments and advise on proper antimicrobial use. 
Find out more

European Organisations

EFSA survey investigates public awareness of AMR

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 06 March 2017

New guidelines for data collection by animal species

European Medicines Agency, 24 March 2017

In a recent study, EFSA surveyed farmers, veterinarians and consumers across the EU and found that there is a general lack of awareness on antimicrobial resistance, as well as a decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics on livestock. These findings are worrying, as awareness of the problem is a prerequisite for any action to reduce AMR. In the pipeline is a joint report by EFSA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on the link between antimicrobial consumption and the development of drug-resistance in bacteria. 
Find out more

The European Medicines agency has launched a consultation on their new guidelines for collecting data on species-specific antimicrobial consumption, specifically for cattle, pigs and poultry. The aim is to establish a system that allows for harmonised and comparable data from Member States so that consumption of antimicrobials can be accurately analysed across the EU.
View the guidelines here

The fight against AMR: an opportunity for post-Brexit Britain

Politico, 07 March 2017

Former Goldman-Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill expresses his disapproval of the current Brexit negotiations, and sees AMR as an opportunity for the UK to take a global leadership role. 
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Civil Society

New clinical trial aims to revolutionise tuberculosis treatment

Médecins Sans Frontières, 06 March 2017

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), along with Partners In Health, and Interactive Research & Development have initiated a joint clinical trial to improve treatments for multi-drug resistant TB. The announcement came shortly after the the World Health Organisation published its list of priority pathogens, which has baffled many in the public health community due to the omission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is now the world's deadliest infectious disease, claiming 1.8 million lives in 2016 alone and stronger, more effective treatments are needed to address this growing problem.  
Read more

EPHA discusses animal farming and public health

European Public Health Alliance, 02 March 2017

Current agricultural and consumption practices are detrimental to both human and environmental health. In a new paper, EPHA highlights the inevitable transition to sustainable healthy diets, which is necessary not only to achieve better health, but also to effectively reduce climate change and prevent the continued emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
Download the paper here

International Media

Global partnership invests $48 million in antibiotic research

Washington Post, 30 March 2017

The Department of Health and Human Services and the UK-based Wellcome Trust are funding 11 companies for a variety of projects to develop new antibiotic therapies. These include rapid diagnostics, therapeutics to boost the human immune response, as well as entirely new classes of antibiotics, the last of which was developed in 1984. All of the new potential drugs are targeting gram-negative bacteria, which are causing the greatest problem due to resistance. 
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The global challenge of counterfeit drugs

Popular Science, 02 March 2017

Fake or poor quality drugs contain the wrong amount of the active ingredient or none at all and often appear identical to the real medicines. These counterfeits are often sold online on false pharmacy websites, but can sometimes make their way to legitimate hospitals, clinics and pharmacies if the pharmaceutical supply chain is infiltrated. This can have serious or fatal consequences for patients, but also causes AMR. Antibiotics with an insufficient amount of active ingredient will not destroy the pathogen as intended, but rather put pressure on it to develop resistance. 
Read more

Can salt destroy MRSA?

The Atlantic, 03 March 2017

A study at the University of Alberta found that simple table salt can reduce MRSA levels on surfaces by 84% in just 20 seconds. Researchers are now putting the seasoning on everything from surgical masks to doorknobs to try to reduce the spread of the pathogen. 
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Reducing antibiotic use lowers resistance of hospital 'superbug'

Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, 13 March 2017

C. difficile is a notorious pathogen that often spreads in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, with widespread use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics accelerating the development of resistance. Restriction of fluoroquinolone use in the UK led to an 80% reduction of resistant C. difficile infections nationwide, and the same result could be achieved with other pathogens if inappropriate antibiotic use is addressed.
Read more

Deadly threat from meningitis when antibiotics start to fail

The Huffington Post, 09 March 2017

Bacterial meningitis used to kill virtually everyone infected. Now, the chance of survival is as high as 70-90%. As various strains of bacteria are rapidly developing resistance, the threat of untreatable bacterial meningitis is just on the horizon. Focus must therefore be on prevention.  
Read more

The economics of AMR

BBC, 06 March 2017

The extreme overuse of antibiotics, particularly in agriculture, cannot be reduced without addressing the economic incentives that drive this behaviour. "This is a classic example of the tragedy of the commons, where individuals rationally pursuing their own interests ultimately create a collective disaster."
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National Media

Belgian researchers help tackle antibiotic resistance among TB patients

De Morgen (Belgium),  20 Mar 2017

Together with their French colleagues, researchers of the Wetenschappelijk Instituut Volksgezondheid developed a new prototype for a medicine that makes it possible to fight resistance to ethionamide. The latter is an antibiotic drug for treating tuberculosis.
Read more

British radio drama brings AMR threat to life

Birmingham Mail (UK), 05 March 2017

A new radio show, called Resistance, follows the events at a music festival where a mysterious outbreak begins. The disease spreads, rapidly becoming a deadly epidemic. Athough the story is fictional, the listener is provided with a snapshot of a very possible scenario in which antibiotics can no longer be relied upon to cure infections. 
Read more

Pharmaceutical discharge behind the rise of antimicrobial resistance

El Mundo (Spain), 04 April 2017

This new article links to the website of Spanish NGO Ecologistas en Accion, which comments on the Spanish release of the "Superbugs in the Supply Chain" report on pollution by pharma companies undertaken by Changing Markets and Ecostorm, while further highlighting the rising threat of AMR to public health.

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Drug-resistant and flesh-eating bacteria on the rise in Denmark

The Copenhagen Post (Denmark), 06 March 2017

Since 2012, the incidence of infection with CRE or VPE bacteria in Denmark, both resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics, has increased 12-fold and 7-fold, respectively. Hospitals have simultaneously seen a steep increase in necrotising bacterial infections, which often require operations, and may result in amputation or death. 
Read more

New drug to fight superbugs in the UK

Independent (UK), 14 March 2017

The new treatment combines two different drugs in order to kill bacteria that have developed multi-drug resistance. One is a classic antibiotic already on the market. The other, entirely new, inhibits the enzymes that cause resistance.  
Read more


The World Life Sciences Forum


This year's annual World Life Sciences Forum was held on the 4th to the 6th of April. Wednesday's program included a workshop titled 'The fight against antibiotic resistance: diagnostics and therapies of the future in veterinary medicine.' See the full program here. 

World Veterinary Day 2017

World Veterinary Association

The theme of this year's World Veterinary Day, held on April 29th, will be "Antimicrobial resistance - from awareness to action." The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Veterinary Association will encourage initiatives and events on this issue and highlight the role of veterinary professionals in the reduction and prevention of AMR.   Learn more
Copyright © EPHA, 2016.

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