US, EU Join Forces to Fight Antibiotic Resistance
Antimicrobial resistance is a major public health problem in the United States and around the world. New forms of resistance can easily cross international borders at the speed of jet travel. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The European Commission (EC) established the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR) in 2009 to improve international collaboration. TATFAR’s first progress report, released today, summarizes advancements during its first implementation period, 2011—2013.
In the U.S. and in the E.U., significant progress in reducing specific types of infections has been made. However, the global problem of antibiotic resistance continues to escalate. Therefore, the original mandate of the taskforce that ran through 2013 has been extended for at least two additional years.
Advancing domestic efforts to combat antibiotic resistance, the FY 2015 President’s Budget requests $30 million for theDetect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative (known as the AR Initiative). The AR Initiative is part of a broader CDC strategy to target investment and achieve measureable results through improving detection, preventing infections, and enhancing antibiotic stewardship. Results from this funding will enhance collaboration between the U.S. and E.U., and future partners as they work together to fight the global threat of antibiotic resistance.
Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance
CDC’s Initiative to outsmart this threat
It’s been called public health’s ticking time bomb. Antibiotic resistance—when bacteria don’t respond to the drugs designed to kill them—threatens to return us to the time when simple infections were often fatal. Today, antibiotic resistance annually causes more than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States. Tomorrow, if it continues on its current course, could be even worse:
- A simple cut of the finger could lead to a life-threatening infection.
- Common surgical procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, would be far riskier because of the danger of infection.
- Dialysis patients could develop untreatable bloodstream infections.
- Life-saving treatments that suppress immune systems, such as chemotherapy and organ transplants, could potentially cause more harm than good.
We need to outsmart antibiotic resistance—now. The Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative (known as the AR Initiative) gives us a good head start. The 2015 President’s Budget requests $30 million annual funding level for 5 years for the AR Initiative—part of a broader CDC strategy to target investment to achieve measureable results in four core areas:
- Detect and track patterns of antibiotic resistance.
- Respond to outbreaks involving antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Prevent infections from occurring and resistant bacteria from spreading.
- Discover new antibiotics and new diagnostic tests for resistant bacteria.
With a $30 million annual funding level over 5 years, CDC’s AR Initiative could achieve a:
- 50% reduction in healthcare-associated C. difficile, which saves 20,000 lives, prevents 150,000 hospitalizations, and cuts more than $2 billion in healthcare costs
- 50% reduction in healthcare-associated CRE infections
- 30% reduction in healthcare-associated multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas, a common cause of healthcare-associated infections
- 30% reduction in invasive MRSA
- 25% reduction in MDR Salmonellainfections