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The Mandate for a Global ‘One Health’ Approach to Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance

January 30, 2019

By Jane Fieldhouse, MSc

Dr. Siddartha Thakur of North Carolina State’s College Veterinary Medicine

In January 2019, Duke One Health team collaborator, Dr. Siddhartha Thakur of North Carolina State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, collaborated with Dr. Gray to publish an editorial in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene calling for a global One Health effort to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR is, as outlined in the editorial, a paramount and complex threat to human, animal and environmental health worldwide. The editorial, entitled “The Mandate for a Global ‘One Health’ Approach to Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance”, describes the multifactorial causes behind the intensifying threat of AMR, including recently heightened interactions between humans and animals in small-scale animal production settings. The recent increase in antimicrobial consumption has occurred simultaneously in human and animal populations and is magnified by the environment, which serves as a reservoir for antimicrobial resistant bacteria.

“For the longest time, we have tried to fight against AMR working in silos. It is evident that this approach has not worked,” says Dr. Thakur. “What is needed is a ‘One Health’ approach, where we work at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment, to solve the AMR conundrum. This approach is very much needed if we are to gain a foothold in this battle against the superbugs.”

Dr. Thakur examining a pig at a swine farm with students (PC: Dr. Siddartha Thakur)

Not only must the approach work across disciplines, the authors argue, but across nations worldwide. In our increasingly globalized world where factors such as international trade contribute to rapid travel across country borders, surveillance for AMR must be a coordinated global effort.

 

Read the full editorial here.

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