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UK antimicrobial resistance strategies need to think globally

1 March 2013

As well as pursuing all reasonable measures to reduce emergence and proliferation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the UK, our national strategies need to consider measures to reduce, identify and deal with imported problems, be they in humans, food or animals.

That’s the advice in a communiqué issued by the organising committee of a recent symposium on antimicrobial resistance.

The symposium, entitled ‘Antimicrobial resistance in human and veterinary medicine: one medicine, one problem?’ brought together researchers, practitioners and policy makers from both the human and veterinary medical fields to explore the evidence base for antimicrobial resistance.

The communiqué summarises the key findings of the event and stresses the importance of AMR being seen as a global issue, by saying: “In an increasingly connected world, it is evident that any measures need to tackle global use [of antibiotics].”

The event was held at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on 2 October 2012, and was jointly organised by the RCP, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Royal College of Pathologists, in association with the Health Protection Agency, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

“The symposium was a very constructive and successful event. Not only were there medics and vets talking in the same room, they were in broad agreement about the key issues. Now we need to carry these messages to the politicians in Britain and in Europe, and the communiqué is the start of that process,” says Professor the Lord Trees, who jointly organised the event with Dr Bharat Patel of the Health Protection Agency.

The organisers of the event would like to acknowledge generous financial support from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the RCVS Charitable Trust, the Wellcome Trust and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The communiqué was written and issued by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the symposium, which comprises Professor the Lord Trees and Dr Bharat Patel (co-organisers), Professor Malcolm Bennett, Professor Peter Borriello, Professor Stephen Gillespie, Professor Peter Hawkey, Professor Duncan Maskell, Professor Laura Piddock and Professor Mike Sharland.

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