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U.S. and European Experts Applaud Creation of New Transatlantic Task Force on Global Antibiotic Resistance Threat
Date:11/6/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Experts on both sides of the Atlantic applaud President Barack Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, representing the European Union (EU) Presidency, for establishing a transatlantic task force to address antibiotic resistance, an urgent and growing problem that threatens patient safety and public health worldwide. During a summit held this week in Washington, D.C., President Obama and Prime Minister Reinfeldt joined forces to address the urgency of the problem and the need for solutions by signing an international agreement that seeks cooperative ways in which the United States and EU countries can help combat the global health crisis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified antimicrobial resistance as one of the three greatest threats to human health. Antimicrobial drugs are used around the world to fight viral diseases, like 2009 H1N1 influenza; bacterial infections, like Staphylococcus aureus and tuberculosis; parasitic infections, like malaria; and fungal infections. Many of these pathogens are becoming increasingly resistant to antimicrobials.

"Antimicrobial resistance and the lack of new antimicrobial agents to effectively treat resistant infections are problems that no country can deal with alone -- they threaten the very foundation of medical care," said Richard Whitley, MD, FIDSA, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). "Without effective antimicrobial drugs, modern medical treatments such as operations, transplants, intensive care, cancer treatment and care of premature babies will become very risky if not impossible." Dr. Whitley joined with Javier Garau, MD, president of European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) and Shelley A. Hearne, managing director of the Pew Health Group in welcoming the multi-country initiative.

"We are thrilled to see the United States and European Union
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SOURCE Pew Health Group
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