Experts Join Forces Against Superbugs at 4th World Forum on HAIs and Antimicrobial Resistance

More than 70 experts in the field of antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections met in Annecy for the 4th World HAI Forum, organized by bioMérieux,  a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics and leader in microbiology. These experts in infection prevention and control, infectious diseases, microbiology and epidemiology, patient safety as well as representatives from health organizations shared their experience and expertise to define priorities to address the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is now recognized as one of the major global public health challenges of the 21st century. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates and generates significant additional healthcare spending.

Professor Sally Davies, chief medical officer in England, qualified bacterial resistance as a catastrophic threat for the population. Likewise at last-weeks G81 Summit, antimicrobial resistance was listed as a top priority among urgent global health challenges. The incidence of antimicrobial resistance continues to rise as a direct result of excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals. The world is experiencing the emergence of new bacterial strains known as superbugs which are resistant to nearly all antibiotics. These new multidrug-resistant organisms know no borders, neither between countries nor between humans and animals, for whom cross-infection has been confirmed. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently issued a warning on this new type of nightmare bacteria.

During the HAI Forum, experts agreed on a certain number of priority actions to fight against antimicrobial resistance. Amongst them, bioMérieux committed itself to support the following actions:
- assess the global burden of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic use through worldwide surveys involving an international alliance. This action aims at providing indicators for global measurement of antibiotic use and resistance;
- carry out a multi-center interventional study to document the lasting benefits of prudent antibiotic use in order to produce tangible proof and best practices to be shared among healthcare professionals.

The initial results of these efforts are estimated to be available within 18 months. As part of its long-standing commitment to public health, bioMérieux continues its investment in research and development for new diagnostic solutions which contribute to the fight against infectious diseases and a better use of antibiotics.

Emerging viral strains such as MERS-CoV or influenza, as well as conditions inducing bacterial resistance represent a highly-significant risk to public health, especially in hospital settings. Due in particular to such high-level scientific meetings as the World HAI Forum, bioMérieux can explore innovative diagnostic solutions to face the emergence of these new pathogens, which pose a serious threat to public health today.

Held June 23-25, 2013, the 4th World HAI Forum on healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance was characterized by the high-level expertise and exceptional international representation with participants from 31 countries.

Source: bioMérieux