“... One Health collaboration

Reflecting the One Health approach, which views the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment as interconnected, there are also recommendations to transform agrifood systems to significantly reduce antimicrobial use while optimizing animal health and welfare; to ensure that animals have access to essential medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics; and to prevent and address the drivers, sources, and challenges of the environmental dimension of AMR.

If we cannot prevent infections from happening in the first place, then we can produce thousands of drugs, but eventually they'll still develop resistance.

CIDRAP research associate Natalie Vestin, MPH, who also contributed to the document, said the focus on enhancing One Health collaboration across sectors is critical, particularly for efforts to reduce antimicrobial use in livestock and crops without endangering animal welfare and food security.

"We talk about One Health all the time, but we talk about it from the point of view of people working in AMR, especially in national governments," Vestin said. "But we don't necessarily talk about it from the lens of people working in animal health or people working in food security, who know the most about those areas and know what's best in those areas."

Just getting those groups in the same room and aligning their goals, Vestin added, will be important for "putting into practice a lot of what we preach" about One Health.

The question is how many of these recommendations will end up in the political declaration on AMR produced by UN members states in September. Because, as with all high-level diplomatic negotiations, not all countries will see eye-to-eye on the best ways to address AMR. Questions around funding, equity, and fairness will be hotly debated.

But Vestin said the mere fact that these recommendations were published, and the discussions that went into them, is noteworthy.

"Just the fact that they exist, and there is that emphasis on accountability, that's a good thing," she said.”

SEE: Groups call for 'actionable steps' to address antimicrobial resistance | CIDRAP (