In recent years awareness has grown that this is among the most urgent health threats we face. In particular, much-needed investment has increased into the early discovery and development of new treatments.
Drug-resistant infections are international travellers
But new drugs and diagnostic tools must come alongside improvements in the way we monitor and control drug-resistant infections.
We need to know which pathogens are developing resistance and where.
We need to better understand where patients acquire bacteria that cause infections – are they acquiring bacteria from other patients, from healthcare settings, water or food or the general environment?
Drug-resistant infections are, like us, international travellers. We need to track which borders they cross, and how quickly. Without detailed and up-to-date information we cannot effectively intervene.
The data is vital on a number of levels, from direct patient care to national and international policy development.
Antibiotics must be treated as a precious resource
To minimise the spread of resistance, antibiotics – old and new – must not be overused or misused.
Surveillance and stewardship go hand in hand. Doctors and prescribers need accurate information to know which drugs, and in which doses, are needed to treat patients effectively. Without this, they must rely on best-guess, empirical prescribing.
Knowledge of how bacteria spread is also critical to improving infection prevention and reducing overall need for antibiotics, in human and animal health.
With better information, policymakers can initiate change at national and international level.
One evidence-led example is the recent ban in China of colistin as a growth promoter in livestock. This is in response to the emergence of a gene in E. coli that makes bacteria resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort..
Globally, surveillance efforts are increasing, but there are major gaps and differing levels of capacity between countries. SEDRIC will work to:
- improve global coordination
- identify critical gaps and barriers
- help countries adopt sustainable best practices and strategies.