Antimicrobial resistance is a silent killer, say doctors

November 19, 2022 08:52 pm | Updated 08:53 pm IST - CHENNAI

At a conference on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), experts called for measures to develop strategies to tackle the serious threat and the need for new antibiotics, molecules and diagnostics.

The AMR Declaration Trust organised a virtual conference on “Our Secret Plans to Tame the Superbugs” on Saturday.

Renu Swarup, former Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, said, “We have exposed all microbes, the small pool of antibiotics that we have and have made everything resistant.” She termed AMR as a “silent pandemic.”

“We need to develop a strategy to tackle (AMR) or else we will face much more serious threats… We need to develop a global mission, a common goal,” she said. There was a need to move forward to vaccines and therapeutics.

“It is important to keep the focus on the One Health approach in addressing AMR and ensure that we have the right policy framework, look at innovation and invest in research,” she said. A global consortia would help innovations to move across borders, she added.

Mayur Ramesh, Wayne State University, spoke on “Should we fast track clinical trials on life saving anti-infective molecules.” He said that AMR is a public health emergency and fast track of antimicrobials is essential as a key mitigation strategy.

He put forward the need to allow for fast-track of preclinical agents with the ability to predict success in the clinical design. “Innovative trial design and other trial strategies will help bring novel antimicrobials to market successfully. Academic/private/public partnerships for funding trials are needed,” he said.

Nitin Bansal, ICMR AMR consultant, elaborated on the ICMR AMR Surveillance Network that was started in 2013 and has 20 regional centres and four nodal centres. In AMR data from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, the total number of culture positive isolates studied during 2021 was 95,728.

The network has included genetic data and helped in generating evidence on AMR and future drug development, he said. Abdul Ghafur, managing trustee, AMR Declaration Trust, put forward the need for new antibiotics, molecules and diagnostics.

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