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New paper calls for strong steps to tackle antibiotic resistance
Date:12/8/2011

s track influenza out breaks.

The paper points out that antibiotic resistance is life-threatening in the same sense as cancer, both in the number of cases and the likely outcome. It therefore calls for a public education campaign about bacteria and antibiotic resistance similar to those that have been mounted for cancer awareness.

The study also notes that in some parts of the world, population density, the uncontrolled use of antibiotics, a lack of both a clean water supply and proper treatment for sewage and industrial effluent create the conditions that disseminate and select resistant bacteria.

"Local governments must be encouraged and supported to invest in better sanitation infrastructure and tighter prescription regulations to control the rapid evolution of resistance," the scientists said. "This is a worldwide, multinational problem and must be treated as such."

The group also notes that it is essential to develop a continuous supply of new antibiotics that are not affected by known or existing mechanisms of resistance. The economics of pharmaceutical drug development offer little incentive for companies to develop new antibiotics, since the drugs are used on an episodic, rather than continual, basis. New public-private partnerships must develop to overcome the economics barriers facing the development o new antibiotics.

The Banbury participants also call for better control of antibiotic use, repurposing of old antibiotics to battle resistance and new alternatives to antibiotics.

The group's paper concludes, "The cost of the undertaking that we propose will be infinitesimally small in comparison to the economic and human cost of doing nothing."


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Contact: Shahriar Mobashery
mobashery@nd.edu
574-631-2933
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

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