Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most pressing health crises currently facing the world, and it presents an immediate threat to Albertans and Alberta’s economy. We are witnessing a rapidly rising number of disease-causing microbes that are increasingly resistant to the drugs we use to treat them.
With few prospects for new antimicrobial drugs on the horizon we risk returning to a pre-antimicrobial era in which commonly-acquired infections, which have been easily treated for decades, once again become untreatable and even deadly. With infections and diseases becoming difficult and sometimes impossible to treat, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a global pandemic.
The interconnected nature of the environment, people, and animals means that many multi-resistant bacteria have the ability to spread quickly across the globe. This results in tremendous consequences to public health, animal health and welfare, food safety, the environment and the economy. The inability to treat infections and control public health threats places an overwhelming burden on health systems and the agriculture industry, making AMR one of the world’s most critical problems today.
The threat also has serious implications for our economy, work force productivity, and agricultural sector where antimicrobial drugs are used to treat disease in animals. As these vital tools lose their effectiveness our food supply and economic security also face an increasing degree of risk.
While the development of resistance to antibiotics is natural phenomenon, antimicrobial misuse can greatly accelerate the rate at which resistance develops. Responsible use of antibiotics can help curb AMR.