2nd Technical Consultation on Global Surveillance of Antibacterial Resistance (ABR) in Humans
On 18 and 19 March, 2014, WHO convened the 2nd Technical Consultation on Global Surveillance of Antibacterial Resistance (ABR) in Humans. The meeting, held at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, brought together experts in antimicrobial resistance from all regions, including from WHO Collaborating Centres, national institutions, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, colleagues from the animal health and husbandry sector joined the discussions, bringing their perspective to this complex, multi-disciplinary issue.
The objectives of the consultation were to review recent progress in efforts to improve global surveillance of antibacterial resistance that had occurred since the 1st Technical Consultation, held in December 2012, and to propose ways to address existing gaps.
The 1st Technical Consultation had called for WHO to compile a global report on surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), with a specific focus on antibacterial resistance. Work on this global report is now complete and has revealed widespread prevalence of resistance around the world, as well as significant gaps in global surveillance structures and in the capacities of institutions worldwide to gather and share data on antibacterial resistance. This hampers the ability to monitor trends and to determine the impact on human health.
The 2nd Technical Consultation reviewed the objectives for ABR surveillance, and discussions focused on addressing gaps in surveillance capacities, in particular the methods and standards of surveillance in three areas: epidemiology; laboratory issues; and international collaboration and data sharing. Participants considered what would be needed to improve our collective capacity to measure the magnitude of ABR, monitor trends, assess the impact on human health, and improve early warning mechanisms to detect and report new patterns of resistance as they emerge.
Although participants were mindful of the enormity of the challenges of addressing such a complex and multi-dimensional issue in the long term, much of the outcome of the consultation was focused on defining next steps to improve surveillance standards and mechanisms that could deliver tangible results in the near future.
A full report of the 2nd Technical Consultation will shortly be available.