Antimicrobial resistance: There is a ‘new global public health threat’

Dr. Jerome Adams is the first African-American surgeon general in U.S. history and came from the field of emergency medicine, and so this topic came naturally to him.

Adams tells fellow physician-scientists, “This is a critical year to enhance our understanding of antimicrobial resistance so we can best prepare to prevent, contain and treat what I call the next global public health threat.”

He says, “Every day, antimicrobial resistance puts patients, health care providers and the entire world at risk.”

Antimicrobial resistance is caused by infectious bacteria that are turning resistant to drugs, including antibiotics, macrolides and antifungals. Antimicrobial drugs are essential to the prevention, treatment and care of infectious diseases, including human infections and livestock. Without these drugs, we will see larger and longer hospital stays and death rates.

Adams suggests that we need to mobilize research in three ways. First, we need to invest in the recruitment and retention of more scientists, especially in the areas of infectious disease. “We need to build the science pipeline and work with our federal and state partners to ensure that young scientists have access to the resources they need to succeed.”

“Secondly, we need to collaborate with our other nations on solutions and joint efforts to control antimicrobial resistance. And finally, we need to increase our national and local commitments to research and innovation.”

Adams also talks about what he hopes will become more of a seamless experience for family doctors to deliver care.

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