SAVE Last Resort antibiotics

Life saving antibiotics for medicine must be preserved and saved

 

WHY DOES ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE MATTER?

 
 

By the Facts:

Colistin is a key antibiotic in our arsenal to save lives from drug-resistant infections, but in 2017, a dozen countries admitted to squandering this same antibiotic to make animals grow faster. While sick farm animals deserve treatment, antibiotics that are a last-line defense in human medicine should be reserved for patients in our hospitals.

  • Among the World Health Organization’s list of medical important antimicrobials, colistin, quinolones and a few other antibiotics are the highest-priority critically important antimicrobials. They were prioritized because: large populations are affected by diseases with limited treatment options; already demonstrated that non-humans can share resistance genes or bacteria; the antibiotic is already common for treating humans or certain high-risk groups

  • From 2015, the use for colistin is expected to grow by around 5% every year until 2021, when there will be 16,500 tonnes used globally. 

  • Some countries already have progressive bans on colistin’s use in livestock for any purpose, but many countries only ban for growth promotion or still allow its export of colistin for non-human use.


colistin resistance has gone global. TAKE ACTION!

Data from  Wang, R.,  et al.,  Nat. Commun. 2018  and used under a  CC-BY 4.0 License  Since November 2015, over 30 countries have reported resistance in colistin.

Data from Wang, R., et al., Nat. Commun. 2018 and used under a CC-BY 4.0 License
Since November 2015, over 30 countries have reported resistance in colistin.

Click to Tweet: Antibiotic resistance is a One Health problem, the use of last-resort antibiotics in animals is a man-made one.

Click to Tweet: An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. Use better hygiene and husbandry rather than last-resort antibiotics.


Additional resources

Guidelines

Guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals (WHO)

Policy

China bans colistin as a feed additive for animals (Lancet)

Policy

Critically important antimicrobials for human medicine, 2019 (WHO)

Article

The global distribution and spread of the mobilized colistin resistance gene mcr-1 (Nature)

Article

Emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene MCR-1 in animals and humans in China (Lancet)

Report

3rd annual report on the use of antimicrobial agents intended for use in animals (OIE)


 

Created in 2005 ReAct - Action on Antibiotic Resistance is one of the first international independent networks to articulate the complex nature of antibiotic resistance and its drivers. ReAct was initiated with the goal to be a global catalyst, advocating and stimulating for global engagement on antibiotic resistance by collaborating with a broad range of organisations, individuals and stakeholders.

 

The IDEA (Innovation + Design Enabling Access) Initiative based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health seeks to foster innovation and the design of new technologies for greater health access and impact through a combination of research, policy work, and training. It also collaborates with a variety of initiatives across Johns Hopkins University and beyond.

To learn more about our Initiative, visit this post by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

 

Views expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.