‘One Health’ approach to tackle AMR

December 6, 2019 0 By S Harachand

Antimicrobials are used in different sectors and resistant microorganisms can arise in humans, animals, plants or the environment.

Resistance developed in one area can easily be transferred to another, such as that from bacteria infecting animals being transferred to bacteria infecting humans, or the same resistant bacteria moving from humans to animals or vice versa.

As highlighted by WHO Global Action Plan on AMR, the issue of antimicrobial resistance needs to be addressed in a One Health approach, where human, animal, plant and environmental health are considered in a coordinated manner. 

Such an approach would lead to the development of joint research priorities and promote synergies and collaborations between research and development happening between sectors.

“To address AMR, a comprehensive and multifaceted strategy is required and R&D for new antibiotics is a fundamental component of any such strategy,’’ said Dr Elmar Nimmesgern, Secretariat Lead of the Global AMR Research and Development Hub.

The Global AMR (R&D) Hub was launched in May 2018, following a call from G20 leaders to address challenges and improve coordination and collaboration in global AMR R&D using a One Health approach. 

One of the key activities for the Global AMR R&D Hub is to plan, design, build and implement an online Dynamic Dashboard that will present all AMR R&D investments globally from public and private sources across the One Health continuum.

The dynamic dashboard will collect information on R&D investments and projects for bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites (protozoa and helminths) for which there is a drug resistance issue. 

This will include organisms listed on published priority lists from the WHO as well as US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Dr Elmar, the first phase of the dynamic dashboard will be launched in quarter one of 2020. The information will be beneficial for the entire R&D enterprise in this area, as it will help with coordination and prevent duplication.

The members of the Global AMR R&D Hub and other funders can then take this information into account for their future funding decisions. 

India joined Global AMR R&D Hub in September as a member. The project’s current membership consists of 16 countries, and the European Commission, 2 philanthropic foundations and 4 international organisations as observers.