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Lancet. 2016 Jan 9;387(10014):176-87. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00473-0. Epub 2015 Nov 18.

Understanding the mechanisms and drivers of antimicrobial resistance.

Author information

  • 1National Institute of Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, and Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London, London, UK. Electronic address: alison.holmes@imperial.ac.uk.
  • 2National Institute of Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, and Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • 3Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital of North Norway, Norway; Department of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.
  • 4Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Division of Infectious Disease Control, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
  • 5Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation (iSEI), University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 6Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • 7Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN), and Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
  • 8Antimicrobials Research Group, Institute for Microbiology and Infection, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

To combat the threat to human health and biosecurity from antimicrobial resistance, an understanding of its mechanisms and drivers is needed. Emergence of antimicrobial resistance in microorganisms is a natural phenomenon, yet antimicrobial resistance selection has been driven by antimicrobial exposure in health care, agriculture, and the environment. Onward transmission is affected by standards of infection control, sanitation, access to clean water, access to assured quality antimicrobials and diagnostics, travel, and migration. Strategies to reduce antimicrobial resistance by removing antimicrobial selective pressure alone rely upon resistance imparting a fitness cost, an effect not always apparent. Minimising resistance should therefore be considered comprehensively, by resistance mechanism, microorganism, antimicrobial drug, host, and context; parallel to new drug discovery, broad ranging, multidisciplinary research is needed across these five levels, interlinked across the health-care, agriculture, and environment sectors. Intelligent, integrated approaches, mindful of potential unintended results, are needed to ensure sustained, worldwide access to effective antimicrobials.

PMID:
26603922
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00473-0
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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