Experts from around the world met in London to discuss how best to prevent antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals and humans through changes to the prescribing of antibiotics for humans and animals.
Among those addressing the conference, held at the Royal Society, was the Prince of Wales, a long-standing advocate of sustainable agriculture. The conference heard that for decades, humans and animals have relied on antibiotics and other antimicrobials but, as a result, infections are developing resistance to the drugs. If this continues, it is estimated that by 2050 the world will face an additional 10 million deaths due to antibiotic resistant infections at a cost of $100 trillion to the global economy.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies and Chief Veterinary Officer Professor Nigel Gibbens hosted the event. Dame Sally said: “It’s has long been my personal goal to encourage responsible use of antibiotics in human and animal health, and the agriculture, farming, fisheries and environmental sectors. When we use antibiotics inappropriately, we are increasing the opportunities for the bugs to develop resistance – the biggest threat to human health today.” This meeting was one of a series of events leading up to the UN General Assembly meeting on antimicrobial resistance in New York in September, to seek high level support for global action to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said: “The conference not only highlighted the need to tackle the significant and growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, but also the international commitment to tackling it. It’s only by working together that we can reduce the development of AMR. “We need to minimise disease risks in animals, enable accurate diagnosis and ensure that when animals do get sick they can be treated in a way that does not put human health at risk.”