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Knowledge about mechanisms and drivers behind antimicrobial resistance can help to combat against it

Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent worldwide issue. Holmes et al suggest in their study, published in Lancet, that knowledge about the mechanisms and drivers of antimicrobial resistance are essential for understanding and combating against this issue.

According to the study the key drivers are wide human, animal and agriculture use of antimicrobials. It is essential to minimize the effect of these key drivers, because there is evidence that resistance is not totally reversible. In case of antimicrobials for human use driver minimization can be achieved with treatment optimization. Diagnostics play a great role in this. Still 50% of the prescribed antimicrobials are unnecessary but with fast, near-patient and reliable test these unnecessarily antimicrobials could be avoided. Other approach by the study is to research the mechanism of antimicrobial resistance. This could give crucial information about possible targets for development of new pharmaceutical agents and diagnostic tests.

Read full article: Holmes et al. Understanding the mechanisms and drivers of antimicrobial resistance, Lancet 2016;387:176-87