A recent comprehensive report on antimicrobial resistance estimates that globally about 700,000 people die every year from drug-resistant strains of common bacterial infections, HIV, TB, and malaria. By 2050, antimicrobial resistance could be a bigger killer worldwide than either heart disease or cancer.
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) is addressing antimicrobial resistance through a new program called the Antimicrobial Stewardship Project (ASP). The ASP website offers current, free, accurate, and comprehensive information and educational resources on antimicrobial stewardship practice, research, and policy.
“CIDRAP is offering our knowledge and expertise in antimicrobial resistance to help provide possible solutions to this growing global public health problem,” says CIDRAP director and School of Public Health Professor Michael Osterholm. “We’ve assembled a panel of 13 internationally renowned advisory experts to work with us. These people have expertise in a wide range of areas, including antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance, clinical and veterinary medicine, clinical pharmacology, and public health.”
Antimicrobial stewardship refers to efforts to improve the appropriate use of antimicrobials by promoting the selection of an optimal antimicrobial drug regimen, dose, duration of therapy, and route of administration.
The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans and animals contributes to the increased occurrence of disease-causing microbes developing resistance and subsequently reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating infectious illnesses.
Antimicrobial stewardship must be addressed globally versus on a per country basis because the problem of resistance is found on every continent and transcends political boundaries.
The ASP initiative intends to promote global collaboration through engagement of international experts and through working closely with other international programs devoted to addressing the problems of antimicrobial resistance. Additionally, the ASP will assemble multiple initiatives to bring together the most current information available to create a “one-stop shop” website offering news, online resources, webinars, original content, policy updates, and more.
“The best science in the world isn’t worth much unless it translates into good policies. We’re working to marry these segments with the ASP,” says Osterholm.