Combatting the Global Rise in Antibiotic Resistance

GERMANY - The German Federal Cabinet has approved the new German Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy (DART 2020).
calendar icon 18 May 2015
clock icon 5 minute read

Work on the strategy to combat antibiotic resistance started in 2008, and over the years efforts to combat resistance have been continued and strengthened.

Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said: "The global spread of antibiotic resistance needs to be stopped.

“When antibiotics are not effective, we are threatened with falling back to the treatment options of a pre-penicillin era, with dramatic consequences.

“Diseases that can be easily cured today, such as a bladder infection or an inflamed wound from an operation could then result in serious illness.

“We have already made important progress, now it comes down to strengthening not only national efforts but also international efforts.

“It is necessary to have clear rules on the use of antibiotics in medicine and in animal husbandry, and also research and development into new antibiotics, alternative therapy methods and tests for rapid diagnosis.

“No state can stop the worldwide rise of antibiotic resistance alone, so we must also bring the international community together.

“Next week at the WHO we will put forward a common roadmap.

“And at the G7 meeting in June, we have put the subject on the agenda.

“Through the new German Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, we are driving ahead with the fight against antibiotic resistance at all levels."

Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt stressed the vital importance of containment of antimicrobial resistance to the health of both humans and animals.

"In the veterinary field, we have recognised early on the signs of the times and adopted important regulations.

“But we must not stop here. Our goal must be to continue to limit the use of antibiotic agents. In this way, the amendment to the Medicines Act and also the newly established minimisation system has become a milestone.

“We have created the conditions for a continuous reduction of drug use.”

He said that the reduction in the use of antibiotics was in veterinary usage was a benefit for both the animals and also humans.

Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka said: "The research provides important approaches to combat antibiotic resistance.

“It is important to understand how resistance develops and can spread among bacteria as this is the only way we can effectively develop strategies to counteract the growing development of resistance.

"The fight against antibiotic resistance is of great importance.

“The DART 2020 is designed to prevent the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. It provides for various measures that take effect in parallel in human and veterinary medicine.

“In addition, the strategy should help to strengthen the research and development of new antibiotics, alternative therapy methods and faster testing.

“Animals and humans are often infected by the same pathogen and treated with the same antibiotics. Only through a cross-sectoral approach, therefore, will the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance be successfully contained.”

DART in 2020, therefore, is consistent with the implementation of the One-Health approach.

The DART is a common strategy of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BmEL) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Objectives of DART 2020

  1. One-Health approach to strengthen at a national and international level, the relevant ministries to cooperate in an inter-ministerial working group on the reduction of antibiotic resistance in human and veterinary medicine and to renew the research agreement on zoonoses. The federal ministries will support the technical relevant international organisations to combat antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
  2. Recognise trends resistance early by strengthening surveillance systems in order to detect new pathogens and drug resistance at an early stage and to obtain representative data for all of Germany, which are also available for research. This allows a timely development of treatment and hygiene recommendations and targeted prevention strategies.
  3. Maintain and improve treatment options by extending the monitoring of antibiotic consumption. These data form the basis for national intervention measures. In addition, concepts for the creation and application of guidelines will be developed.
  4. Interrupt chains of infection early and prevent infection by improving diagnosis both in human and in veterinary medicine and promoting the implementation of hygiene measures. The methods of livestock production must be optimised.
  5. Promote awareness and strengthen expertise through knowledge and capacity-building both in the public as well as in doctors, veterinarians and health professionals
  6. Support all relevant areas of research in human and veterinary medicine to strengthen and interdisciplinary research projects promoted by the basic research on resistance emergence and dissemination to the development of new diagnostic tools and medicines.

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