“Antibiotic resistance is a global health problem that requires international attention and collaboration because bacteria do not recognize borders” National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
With a focus on bacteria that present “an urgent and serious threat to public health,” the White House today released a plan to guide federal government, as well as public and private healthcare and veterinary responses to pathogens becoming resistant to currently available antibiotics.
The plan’s goals include:
- Slowing the emergence and stopping the spread of drug resistant infections;
- Strengthening national surveillance efforts;
- Promoting the development and use of diagnostic tests to quickly identify resistant bacteria, as well as of vaccines and treatment to address them;
- Strengthening antibiotic-resistant prevention, surveillance, control, research and development capacities and collaboration internationally.
The plan recognizes three “urgent threats:” the healthcare-associated infections Clostridium difficile and Enterobacteriaceae, as well as antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, and includes multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the second category of five “serious threats.” The plan sets a goal of reducing multidrug-resistant TB infections by 15 percent in the U.S., and cites the development of “additional domestic and global activities” to be listed in a plan specifically targeting TB to be submitted to the White House by Sept. 15.
The plan calls for accelerated drug development through public-private partnerships between the National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical companies, with goals that include at least two new antibiotic drugs targeting bacteria listed as urgent or serious threats entering late stage clinical trials within three years. Also in the next three years, according to the plan, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will develop local infection surveillance strategies with at least 12 and as many as 15 countries, help the countries institute infection control strategies in healthcare settings and, with USAID, give guidance to ministries of health and agriculture to slow the spread of antibiotic resistant infections, while helping four low- and middle-income countries develop healthcare facility infection control strategies.
In five years, according to the plan, the agencies will support three more low- and middle-income countries develop plans to contain antimicrobial resistance and prevent the spread of infections in healthcare facilities, help eight countries apply infection prevention and control strategies in at least 20 healthcare settings and support four countries in conducting research leading to improved use of antibiotics in at least eight healthcare facilities. The agencies also are called on to develop and distribute at least four documents for global use and relevant to low- and middle-income countries, providing guidance on antibiotic containment.