New UN Report: Bracing for Superbugs

The report Bracing for Superbugs: Strengthening environmental action in the One Health response to antimicrobial resistance provides evidence that the environment plays a key role in the development, transmission and spread of AMR.  Prevention is at the core of the action and the environment is a key part of the solution. 

The spotlight report will be launched at the 6th meeting of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance in Barbados, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The online launch is set for Tuesday, 7 February 2023; 10:30 am AST/9:30 am EST/5:30 pm EAT/3:30 pm CET. Details are still being tweaked but you can check for updates here.  

The report’s lead authors include Dr Teresa Coque, Prof. David Graham, Dr Amy Pruden, Dr Anthony So, Dr Ed Topp, and the amazing team at the UN Environmental Programme.  

The UN establishes the Quadripartite Technical Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Antimicrobial Use (AMU) Integrated Surveillance

Prof. David Graham was just appointed to the United Nations Quadripartite Technical Group on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Integrated Surveillance (QTG-AIS) established by the Quadripartite Joint Secretariat on AMR. QTG-AIS was formed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations Environment Programme, World Health Organization, and the World Organisation for Animal Health, and has been created to provide advice and guidance on the development of global, regional and country-level integrated surveillance systems for AMR and AMU. A special goal is to establish effective surveillance capacities across all resource settings.

QTG-AIS is mandated to provide:

  • advice to the Quadripartite on needs, scope, and format on integrated surveillance; how it should be updated to reflect emerging evidence and experience; and advocate for covering identified gaps;
  • reviews and refine current definition of integrated surveillance and agree on priority needs in different contexts;
  • technical advice to the Quadripartite on issues emerging from regional- and country-level work on AMR/AMU integrated surveillance;
  • strategic advice and input to the Global Leaders Group on AMR and AMU integrated surveillance; and
  • technical support/assistance via the Quadripartite to build country- and regional-level integrated AMR/AMU surveillance capabilities.

The QTG-AIS comprises 27 experts with AMR and AMU surveillance experience, including Prof Graham. See the Press Release here for the list of named individuals. Update: See a more developed summary of QTG-AIS here.

One Water One Health

A special webinar is being held on March 24 at the 9th World Water Forum called “One Water One Health“. This event is being co-hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and examines “AMR in the Environment” from a One Health perspective, including transmission and spread in water systems.

“This session fosters awareness and multistakeholder dialogue that brings together the tripartite organisations namely the UN FAO, WHO, OIE, and UNEP with the government, the private sector, and experts from environment, health, and WASH sectors. The event presents an opportunity to understand the multitude of water and health linkages and antimicrobial resistance from a water environment perspective, specifically the scope of the problem, sources, drivers, transmissions mechanisms, and the implications to global water security and mitigation actions.”

The webinar is 08:00 to 09:00 GMT on Thursday, 24 March 2022. Registration here.

During the webinar, our own Prof David Graham is speaking about the role of the wider environment on antimicrobial resistance spread. Other contributors include Sasha Koo-Oshima (Land and Water Division, FAO); Sunita Narain (Centre for Science and Environment, Chair of the Global Leaders Group Environment Group); Joakim Larsson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden); Kate Medlicott (World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland); Marion Savill (Affordable Water Limited and Water, NZ Chapter of International Water Association (IWA), & IWA ASPIRE, New Zealand); Nigel French (Massey University & New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre); Omar El-Hassan (FAO) & Robert Bos (FAO). 

Will you ‘Go Blue’?

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is 18 to 24 November. Celebrated annually, WAAW aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers, and policymakers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections. The 2021 WAAW theme is ‘spread awareness, stop resistance’.

This year’s campaign encourages participants to spread awareness about what AMR is, share stories about its consequences, and demonstrate how the actions of individuals, families, professionals, and communities affect the spread of AMR. Find campaign materials and resources here, including the AMR and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Technical Brief that David Graham helped coauthor. Also checkout the Campaign Guidance here. Also, take a minute to share a comment with us on how you are ‘Going Blue’.