|Antibiotics have been the cornerstone of modern medicine and remain the only way to treat bacterial disease. But when bacteria develop tolerance or resistance to antibiotics, we risk returning to a time when animals – and people – fell seriously ill or even died from simple, treatable infections.|
However, reducing antibiotics use without first tackling disease would mean sick animals may go untreated. We must focus on prevention and better protection against disease, and three of the commitments in our Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics Progress Report strike at the heart of that goal:
- New vaccines: In the past two years, HealthforAnimals Members have delivered 49 new vaccines – halfway to our commitment of 100.
Vaccines remain one of the most effective ways to prevent disease as they help strengthen an animal’s natural resilience against infection. New vaccines are essential in reducing the need for antibiotics but overcoming infrastructure challenges is also important to ensure access. For example, a vaccine that is heat-tolerant does not require refrigeration and can be used in remote regions.
- New diagnostic tools: With 17 out of 20 new diagnostics tools already delivered, this commitment is well on its way to completion.
Being able to swiftly detect and treat bacterial infections can stop disease from spreading and helps avoid the need for antibiotic treatment across a herd. Furthermore, routine diagnostics are a powerful tool for surveillance and prevention. Cutting edge diagnostics are even leveraging artificial intelligence to provide more predictable, rapid analysis.
HealthforAnimals members have made significant progress in improving responsible use of antibiotics in recent years. But to achieve the vision laid out in the Roadmap, continued commitment and cooperation is needed to increase research and development, implement One Health approaches, increase knowledge and communication, and provide veterinary training and access to help address antibiotic resistance.
We encourage others in the public sector, international organisations, human and environmental health, or any other institution that can affect positive change to join us in making commitments to addressing AMR and responsible use.
Find out more detail on our progress to date in our Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics Progress Report.