Last week we attended the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam. Over the course of the four day event an array of new and innovative data was presented. One topic in particular really resonated with the 3 Monkeys | Zeno team: the continued rise of antibiotic resistance.Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem that holds the potential to affect each and every one of us. The fight to combat the spread of this resistance has united microbiologists, infectious disease specialists, veterinarians, environmental scientists, public health and government officials globally in a so-called one-health approach.The importance of this field is mirrored by the pace at which it is moving. For example back in 2015 a genetic mechanism that allowed bacteria to develop and transfer resistance to one of the last-resort antibiotics, Collistin, was discovered in an E.Coli strain from a pig in China. At ECCMID this year, over ten studies have reported the use of this genetic mechanism in a wide array of bacteria strains alongside updates on the development of numerous new potential therapies. Even this year’s Excellence Award was awarded to Professor. Robert A. Bonomo, for his outstanding lifetime achievements in the antibiotic resistance field.
Antibiotic resistance holds the potential to affect not only the way we fight infections but more broadly, farming and other industry practices.Effective communications is one of the most vital tools in our armoury to address this issue and increase awareness of the novel approaches being taken, including therapies and diagnostic tools. But the industry needs to be targeting not only healthcare professionals and governments but the general public too. This increased prevalence of antimicrobial resistance is rightly causing a big stir in the medical community, but there’s a strong need for a coordinated campaign to educate and include patients and the general public so we all work together.