The EU ‘One Heath’ Action Plan Against AMR
What is Antimicrobial Resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance or AMR, is the ability of microorganisms to become resistant to an antimicrobial treatment that they were previously susceptible to. AMR is caused by several factors, one being as a consequence of natural selection and genetic mutation and the other as a result of the misuse of antimicrobials in humans and veterinary medicine, poor hygiene conditions and processes in healthcare and the food supply chain that aid the transmission of resistant microorganisms. Over time, these factors mean antimicrobials become less effective.
When penicillin was discovered in 1928 it was a truly revolutionary development in medicine, effectively eliminating previously deadly diseases and turning them into minor aliments requiring brief treatment. If we fast forward to 2021, the work of antimicrobials is at risk of being diminished and there could be a return of previously straightforward to treat infections becoming high risk to patients. Resistance to common infections such as urinary tract infections and pneumonia have been reported in all World Health Organisation (WHO) regions and resistance to antivirals used to treat HIV is also increasing.
Tackling the Issue
The EU continues to lead the way in addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance and recognises that no one action or individual member state can solve the problem on its own. A collective approach across EU member states has been implemented. The ‘One Health’ approach addresses AMR in both humans and animals and looks at reducing the use of antimicrobials in human and veterinary healthcare as well as looking at environmental challenges that contribute to AMR and can potentially lead to a new strain of resistant microorganisms.
Recent reviews of the One Health approach have called for extending the environmental factor in the initiative and looking at how improved data collection, monitoring and surveillance can also help make informed decisions on the ways to move forward and solutions that can be implemented.
The EU aims to be a ‘best practice region’ for tackling AMR and plans to continue to monitor and update the One Health approach in the years to come.
Biorex Food Diagnostics manufactures ELISA based solutions for the detection of antimicrobials in a range of food including; meat, poultry, fish, feed and honey samples. Each ELISA delivers reliable, cost-effective results at low limits of detection to ensure the safe supply of food and feed products to end users.