Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has now emerged as a chronic public health problem globally, with the forecast of 10 million deaths per year globally by 2050. AMR occurs when viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites do not respond to antimicrobial treatments in humans and animals, thus allowing the survival of the microorganism within the host. The prominent cause contributing to the current crisis remains to be the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials, particularly the inappropriate usage of antibiotics, increasing the global burden of antimicrobial resistance. The global consumption and usage of antibiotics are therefore closely monitored at all times. This review provides a current overview of the implications of strategies used by international governmental organisations, including the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to address the problem of antibiotic resistance, as well as the “One Health Approach,” a system incorporating a multidisciplinary effort to achieve the best possible health outcome by acknowledging the clear connections between humans, animals and their shared environment. The importance of public awareness and health literacy of lay audiences still needs to be further emphasised as part of global and local action plans. Antimicrobial resistance continues to be a major global public health dilemma of the 21st century. Already this topic is receiving substantial political input from the G7 countries and continues to be on the agenda of numerous political conferences. The consequences of failure to adequately address AMR are profound, with estimations of a return to the pre-antibiotic era, where everyday infections relating to childbirth, surgery and open fractured limbs could be potentially life-threatening. AMR itself represents a microcosm of factors, including social anthropology, civil unrest/war, diasporas, ethnic displacement, political systems, healthcare, economics, societal behaviour both at a population and individual level, health literacy, geoclimatic events, global travel and pharmaceutical innovation and investment, thus finding a solution that adequately addresses AMR and which helps stem further AMR emergence is complicated. Success will involve individuals, communities and nations all working together to ensure that the world continues to possess a sufficient armamentarium of effective antimicrobials that will sustain human and animal health, both now and in the future.
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Copyright © 2023 Tang, Millar and Moore.
- antimicrobial resistance
- antibiotic resistance
- one health