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Antimicrobial Resistance Conference Closes

The 2010 Annual Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases was held last week in the Washington, DC area.

Doctors, pharmacologists, professors, scientists, and policy makers convened for 3 full days at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Bethesda to share their knowledge about the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals.

Pharma.jpgThe overall conference objectives were to discuss the science, prevention, and control of antimicrobial resistance, and to define issues and potential solutions to the problem of antimicrobial resistance in a symposium format.

The Keynote Address on The Globalization of Antimicrobial Resistance was given by Dr. David L. Heymann, of the Health Protection Agency in London, United Kingdom. 

Dr. Heymann opened with troubling data and graphics depicting the wide geographic distribution of Influenza A, (H1N1).  According to Dr. Heymann, 1% of H1N1 strains are resistant to the 3 drugs and one vaccine prescribed to combat the pandemic.

His presentation gave a brief evolution of diseases and antibiotic use.  He emphasized the problem of rapid increase of resistant strains of H1N1 and the evolution of penicillin resistance of Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA).  Dr. Heymann also discussed issues with Malaria transmission areas and reported drug resistance; antimicrobial resistant tuberculosis in the UK; new cases of MDR TB; and penicillin-resistant Gonorrhea.

Dr. Heymann equated today’s H1N1 pandemic to the global spread of chloroquine resistant strains of p. falciparum during the 1950s through the 1980s.  He also encouraged health care professionals to stop the over-use of antibiotics. 

According to Dr. Heymann’s presentation, 45 percent of deaths in low-income nations are caused primarily by five types of infectious diseases; lower respiratory disease, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, and malaria.  There are no vaccines for any of these diseases.

Though presenters hailed from all over the world and offered

various areas of expertise, all agreed that the growing problem of

antimicrobial resistance needs to be combated by practicing wise

antibiotic stewardship and focusing on new technologies as well as

funding more research and development.

For more information on the specific speakers and presentations, please see the list below in order to direct you to additional articles.

2010 Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance Symposia included:

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  • It is interesting to hear all agreed that the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance needs to be combated but I think the solution they offer is not one, which can bring in changes. I have observed how these one bacteria which started spreading in paediatrics all over UK in 1980s has now successfully educated other bacteria by transferring its knowledge and know how and living in and around hospitals and moved out to establish its presence in our community.
    Assuming we can stop this threat by simply withholding antibiotics is a dream that is less likely to be successful. Knowing our enemy is stronger and has the knowledge to quickly change we must try not to antagonise them by assuming we have power to stop them. By jumping into conclusion and publishing statistics to reassure public by claiming these infection is under control, we are deceiving ourselves and giving the opportunity for these bacteria to survive.
    We must stop assuming our hands are sterile after squirting few mls of alcohol gel on our hand or preparing skin of patients before performing practical procedures is certainly a major problem. Knowing various biocides are now useless and in-fact helping resistant bacteria colonise on our hands and hospitals we must stop and think how we can fight this battle to win. We must not assume these experts have all the knowledge and expertise to help us because they have never encountered a problem of this magnitude in the past twenty years.