Recently, WHO in partnership with the Global AMR R&D Hub, has released ‘Incentivizing the development of New Antibacterial Treatments 2023’ Report. Report is for the G7 countries monitoring and handling of AMR.  About Global AMR R&D Hub .It is a partnership of countries, nongovernmental donor organizations and intergovernmental organizations. It was launched in 2018, to address challenges and improve coordination and collaboration in global AMR R&D using a One Health approach. 

Key highlights of Report:

 ●Among the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity:  AMR is associated with the deaths of 4.95 million people in 2019 which is more than HIV or malaria. 

● Threat to the global economy impacting: International trade, health care costs, etc. and could cost the world’s economy USD 100 trillion by 2050.
 ● Insufficient R&D: R&D pipeline for new antibacterials is “insufficient” to tackle the challenge of increasing emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

 ●Poor return for developing new antibiotic: There is no viable market for novel antibiotics, that’s why new ‘reserve’ antibiotics fails to cover the costs of their development, manufacturing and distribution. 

Other factors leading to AMR :

● Triple planetary crises: It refers to the three main interlinked issues that humanity currently faces: climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. 

 ■ Climate change and AMR: A warmer global climate may also lead to more widespread resistance, as higher temperatures can encourage the rate at which genes are transferred from microbe to microbe. 

 ☆ In addition, the extreme weather, due to climate change, can trigger the failure of the barriers, such as sewers, between humans and virulent microorganisms. 

■ Biodiversity loss and AMR: The loss of biodiversity, even at the microbial level, can as well develop AMR among microbes. 

■ Pollution and AMR: Effluent from the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, human waste and agriculture exposes germs to the drugs, giving them more chances to evolve resistance to them.
  ☆The pollutants such as heavy metals like zinc can also prime the development of resistance to important antimicrobials. 

● Covid 19 Pandemic: Pandemic has accelerated AMR because of the widespread consumption of antibiotics during the various waves. 

● Anti-Biotic use in Animals reared for Human Use: Eating animal meat is similar to ingestion of tablets which ultimately leads to AMR. 

Global Steps to handle AMR:

 ● Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAPAR) by WHO: It aims to ensure continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines 

 ● AWaRe (Access, Watch, Reserve) Tool: It was developed by the WHO Essential Medicines List to contain rising resistance and make antibiotic use safer and more effective.

 ●Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) by WHO: Launched in 2015 to foster AMR surveillance and inform strategies to contain AMR. Steps Taken by India 

● National Action Plan on containment of Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR) was launched on 2017: It focuses on an integrated One Health approach and involves coordination among various sectors at the state, national and international level. 

● Delhi Declaration on AMR: It is an inter-ministerial consensus, was signed by the ministers of the concerned ministries pledging their whole-hearted support in AMR containment.

 ● AMR Research & International Collaboration: ICMR has taken initiatives to develop new drugs /medicines through international collaborations in order to strengthen medical research in AMR. 

● Initiatives to increase awareness about antibiotics misuse: 

■ Banned 40 fixed dose combinations (FDCs) which were found inappropriate. 

■ Antibiotic Stewardship program (AMSP) to control misuse and overuse of antibiotics in hospital wards and ICUs. 

Suggestions to handle AMR:

  ● Enhance environmental governance, planning and regulatory frameworks: Specific actions should include developing legislation, codes of good practice and policy guidance to support action to reduce and minimize environmental releases of AMR relevant pollutants. 

■Example- Sweden appointed world’s first AMR ambassador. 

●Transparency and Accountable system: To have systems that allows consumers to hold producers accountable for prudent antimicrobial use. 
●Identify and target priority AMR relevant pollutants: Reduce releases of chemical and biological pollutants affecting AMR in the environment and address their origins. 

●Improve reporting, surveillance and monitoring: As part of plans to mitigate discharges of antimicrobials into the environment, it is essential to measure the impact of antimicrobial pollution on biodiversity and integrate environmental monitoring data.

 ●Prioritize financing, innovation and capacity development: Need to introduce innovative and sustainable financing to address AMR. Such as elimination of distorting subsidies in agriculture. 

● Multi-sectoral One Health response: A One Health response to AMR will not only help reduce the risk and burden of AMR on societies but will also help address the triple planetary crisis.

Related News Fungal diseases in plants 

● According to a study published in the journal Nature, global crop growers have experienced a 10-23% loss in crops due to fungal diseases. 

■The five most important crops (rice, wheat, maize, soyabeans and potato) are vulnerable to fungal diseases such as rice blast fungus, wheat stem rust, corn smut, soybean rust and potato late blight. 

●About Fungal disease in plants:

  ■Fungi can be single celled or multicellular organisms.   

■ Fungi cause the great majority, estimated at two-thirds of infectious plant diseases. 

 ■ They include all white and true rusts, smuts, needle casts, leaf curls, mildew, sooty moulds and anthracnose.
☆ Sources of fungal infections are infected seed, soil, crop debris, nearby crops and weeds. 
☆Fungi are spread by wind and water splash, and through the movement of contaminated soil, animals, workers, machinery, tools, seedlings, and other plant material.  

☆ They enter plants through natural openings such as stomata and through wounds caused by pruning, harvesting, hail, insects, other diseases, and mechanical damage. 

● Concerns associated with Fungal infections 

■The devastating impact of fungal diseases will worsen due to climate change.  

☆ The rising temperatures are causing fungal infections to move steadily towards the poles, about seven kilometres a year.

  ☆ For ex, wheat stem rust infections, usually reported in tropical countries, have been found in England and Ireland.

 ■ Higher temperatures encourage the development of new fungal pathogen variants. 

 ■ Practising monoculture has enabled the fungus to quickly evolve and develop resistance to the fungicides.  

■The spike in the use of antifungals in agriculture, is leading to more fungicide-resistant pathogens. 

■ Fungal diseases in crops threaten food security. 


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