The paper is an outgrowth of a meeting the group held at the Banbury Conference Centre in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., to discuss the crisis and it appears in the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology.
The group notes that in Europe in 2007, the number of infections by multidrug-resistant bacteria was 400,000 and there were 25,000 attributable deaths.
In the United States alone, antibiotic-resistant infections are responsible for $20 billion per year in excess health care costs, $35 billion per year in societal costs and 8 million additional hospital stays per year.
The problem of resistance is compounded by the fact that we live in a global economy, resulting in a worldwide spread of antibiotic-resistant genes.
The Banbury group recommends that research priorities be established to control resistance.
They point out that additional basic information about resistance is required to address the crisis.
"Increasing lines of evidence identify the principal reservoirs of resistance genes to be bacteria that live in and on humans and animals, as well as those found in the environment (in soil, water and so on)," the paper notes. "However, there is insufficient information about the conditions and factors that lead to the mobilization, selection and movement of these bacteria into and between animal and human populations."
The report also calls for increased international funding to enable scientists to track new antibiotic-resistance threats worldwide, in a manner similar to how the World Health Organization and other agencies track influenza out breaks.
The paper points out that antibiotic resistance is life-threatening in the same sense as cancer, both in the number of cases and the likely outcome. It therefore calls for a public education campaign about bacteria and antibiotic resistance similar to those that have been mounted for cancer awareness.
The study also notes that in some parts of the world, population density, the uncontrolled use of antibiotics, a lack of both a clean water supply and proper treatment for sewage and industrial effluent create the conditions that disseminate and select resistant bacteria.
"Local governments must be encouraged and supported to invest in better sanitation infrastructure and tighter prescription regulations to control the rapid evolution of resistance," the scientists said. "This is a worldwide, multinational problem and must be treated as such."
The group also notes that it is essential to develop a continuous supply of new antibiotics that are not affected by known or existing mechanisms of resistance. The economics of pharmaceutical drug development offer little incentive for companies to develop new antibiotics, since the drugs are used on an episodic, rather than continual, basis. New public-private partnerships must develop to overcome the economics barriers facing the development o new antibiotics.
The Banbury participants also call for better control of antibiotic use, repurposing of old antibiotics to battle resistance and new alternatives to antibiotics.
The group's paper concludes, "The cost of the undertaking that we propose will be infinitesimally small in comparison to the economic and human cost of doing nothing."
Shahriar Mobashery | EurekAlert!
New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease
19.11.2018 | University of Oxford
Controlling organ growth with light
19.11.2018 | European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.11.2018 | Information Technology
19.11.2018 | Life Sciences