50 years from now, this year may be remembered as the year the world finally came together to take the challenge of antibiotic resistance seriously enough to set up our first global organization to respond to it.
Mark Woolhouse, of Edinburgh University's Centre for Immunity, Infection, and Evolution, and Jeremy Farrar, Director of The Wellcome Trust medical charity write in the journal Nature, calling for the U.N. to found a new global organization to lead the battle against antibiotic resistant pathogens, and also calling for this new organization to be modeled on the organization created to combat global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC).
Kate Kelland, of Reuters, tells us Superbug Threat Is As Grave As Climate Change, Scientists Say, reporting on the same call by scientists for a new international body. Many have forgotten what a scourge infections were before the advent of antibiotics when many people regularly died from simple infections, and things, we take for granted now, like routine surgeries, were barely possible and highly dangerously with fearsome mortality rates from infections.
Warning that a world without effective antibiotics would be "deadly", with routine surgery, treatments for cancer and diabetes and organ transplants becoming impossible, the experts said the international response had been far too weak.
"We have needed to take action against the development of antimicrobial resistance for more than 20 years. Despite repeated warnings, the international response has been feeble," said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust medical charity.
Woolhouse and Farrar said their vision of a similar body on antimicrobial resistance - which they dubbed the IPAMR or Intergovernmental Panel on Antimicrobial Resistance - would involve a broad range of experts, from specialists in clinical and veterinary medicine, to epidemiologists, microbiologists, pharmacologists, health economists and international lawyers.
Ian Sample, a science correspondent for The Guardian, reports Antibiotic-resistant bugs need global response, say health experts. A response on par with the global response to climate change - experts are recommending the UN set up a new global organization modeled after the International Panel on Climate Change, IPCC.
Antibiotic-resistant pathogens have reached every country, with some patients being treated with drugs that are now the last line of defence against infections. Scientists gathered at the Royal Society in London on Thursday warned the situation is so desperate that a global response in line with efforts to combat climate change is needed.
Sample informs us that in Britain, 5,000 people a year die from antibiotic-resistant infections. The following article below reports that in the United States, just one of the best known "superbugs," MRSA, kills around 19,000 people per year, and a similar number in Europe. This is far more than are dying from HIV and AIDS.
Britain will add antimicrobial resistance to the Cabinet Office's "national risk register" putting it on par with the level of concern the nation has for terrorism, and pandemic flu.
Writing in the journal Nature, Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, and Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Edinburgh University, urge world leaders to set up an international panel on antimicrobial resistance to keep existing drugs working and develop alternatives.
Previously, Davies has warned of an "apocalyptic" situation in which people going into hospital die from routine operations because there are no antibiotics to treat them. Antibiotics will still be useful for many years, but it could take more than a decade to develop new drugs. There have been no new classes of antibiotics for 25 years.
Europe seems to have the same issues we have here. After the standard warning that doctors need to be more cautious about prescribing antibiotics, the Guardian tells us that their use in agriculture is a big problem, "despite an EU ban preventing their usage as growth promoters. The ban was easily side-stepped by giving animals the drugs for different reasons.