A transatlantic task force will address the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic Resistance Issues Getting More Attention

With European Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Day set for Nov. 18 and an EU-US task force announced Nov. 3, there is now a consensus that antibiotic resistance is regarded as a threat to public health, according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The problem of antibiotic resistance is getting high-level attention, now that a transatlantic task force has been established by the European Union and the United States. The task force was announced Nov. 3, and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) hailed its creation.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the European Centre for Disease Control and PreventionECDC says the task force's work will augment its existing joint efforts with CDC on the antibiotic resistance problem. Rising levels of resistance to a number of essential antibiotics are being reported across Europe, a development that "threatens the future of modern medicine," according to ECDC, which prepared a report recently with the European Medicines Agency and the international network Action on Antibiotic Resistance (ReAct) that concluded there is a gap between the burden of infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria and the development of new antibiotics to tackle the problem. The report called for a global strategy to address this.

ECDC is leading European Antibiotic Awareness Day to raise awareness and to explain the importance of using antibiotics wisely.

The joint EU-US declaration posted by the White House said their leaders have agreed "To establish a transatlantic task force on urgent antimicrobial resistance issues focused on appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities, prevention of both healthcare- and community-associated drug-resistant infections, and strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, which could be better addressed by intensified cooperation between us."

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