Although there have been major advances in research into, and treatment of, many communicable diseases, continuing progress in tackling these major challenges for public health is threatened by the dramatic increase in the number and distribution worldwide of pathogens resistant to antimicrobial (antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal) drugs. For example, a recent report by the UK Chief Medical Officer concludes that “antimicrobial resistance poses catastrophic threat”.
The latest G8 Science Ministers Statement (2013) focused on the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance and the World Health Organisation expressed concern that this rapidly growing problem may impede progress towards the Millennium Development Goals 20152. The global pandemic of antibiotic resistance in both community care and hospital-associated infections represents a major health and economic burden and this crisis is being exacerbated by a relative lack of innovation in generating new antibiotics: we are in danger of returning to a pre-antibiotic era.
The Lancet Global Health publishes "What do we need to do to tackle antimicrobial resistance" - a Commentary on the IAP/IAMP Statement today, 18 November 2013.