News & Views

News and Opinions


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2017

Antibiotic resistance strikes hardest at the poor.

It is a well-known fact that antibiotic resistant infections have a major influence on the health of people globally. Antibiotic resistance increases both mortality and morbidity due to treatment failures and lack of effective therapy. But antibiotic resistance has even more far-reaching consequences on different levels that often tend to be overlooked.


Summary and report from RAN conference - implementing NAPs on AMR

Read summary of key takeaways from the RAN conference on implementation on National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance. At the end of the summary you can download the full report.


Hear the voices of participants from the RAN Conference in Nairobi, Kenya 2017

A few weeks ago ReAct Africa arranged the RAN conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Listen to what a few of the participants have to say.


From ReAct Africa Conference: 6 gaps and 7 key outputs how to make implementation of NAPS on AMR possible

Antimicrobial resistance champions from 14 predominantly African countries gathered in Machakos, Kenya to share experiences and updates on the progress of their implementation of National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance.


Ensuring action on the AMR Global Action Plan

To ensure stakeholders are taking action on the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO, FAO and OIE have come together to develop a monitor & evaluation approach.

Members of the ARC Coalition, including ReAct, came together for two teleconference calls in order to develop joint responses for the public consultation process.


ReAct meets the European Commissioner for Health

Mid September ReAct met with the European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis to amongst other topics discuss what European wide solutions to the problem of some old, but still effective antibiotics being reported unavailable in many European countries.


The world is running out of antibiotics – new report from WHO

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Read ReAct’s comment in article.


Crucial stakeholder meeting in India: how to get the Indian NAP on AMR from words into action

End August, ReAct Asia Pacific participated in the consultation National consultation to operationalize Action Plan for AMR containment held in New Delhi, India.

Sujith J Chandy, Head of ReAct Asia Pacific, says:

– This is a crucial meeting of all stakeholders, from all sectors, meant to galvanize the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance into on the ground operationalization.


Antibiotic stewardship in South East Asia

In a series of papers in the BMJ, invited authors summarize the most recent developments regarding antimicrobial resistance in the South East Asian region. In these countries, antibiotic use is high and policies are either absent or poorly implemented.

Here we highlight two of these articles focusing on antibiotic use and stewardship. They give good examples and may provide inspiration to other low- and middle-income countries.


Conference in Ecuador: health, food, the planet and the microbial world

Is there a relation between production of healthy food, the care of the environment, bacteria, the proper use of antibiotics and human health and the health of the planet?

This was discussed at the Community Workshop Sacred Foods That Heal, held on 19 and 20 September in the Langa Community of Saraguro, Ecuador.


Food, microbes and health

Infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance are related with nutrition through intricate connections, which are poorly understood. Several hypotheses have been proposed suggesting that our gut microbiome is instrumental for our health in many ways.


ReAct’s priorities in what promises to be an important autumn for antibiotic resistance

A crucial autumn for policy in the field of antibiotic resistance is coming up. Important steps in defining what the global response to the challenge of generating innovation of new crucial antibiotics while ensuring their affordable access and sustainable conservation will likely be taken.


Important African conference: How will we be able to implement National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance?

Mirfin Mpundu, Head of ReAct Africa says:

”Developing National Action Plans on antimicrobial resistance is a great accomplishment but implementing is even a greater accomplishment. Participants will discuss how they can move forward with implementation within the One Health framework, prioritization, costing, unique challenges, stewardship, integrating antimicrobial resistance as a core element in current running programs. ReAct is honored to support these public global goals.”


Antibiotic resistance: national workshop in India for voluntary organizations

End July, the workshop “National Workshop on AMR and Antibiotic Use: For Voluntary Organisations” was organized by ReAct Asia Pacific. The workshop was meant as a platform to engage various civil society organizations and sensitize them about the implications of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the need to improve antibiotic use


Many countries identify antimicrobial resistance as an obstacle on their way to implementing Agenda 2030

In 2017, forty-four countries volunteered to present their Voluntary National Reviews to the UN High-level Political Forum. Six countries directly referenced antimicrobial resistance containment activities as a means towards successful realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Resistance to last-line antibiotics

The increasing resistance to existing antibiotics and lack of antibiotics with new mechanisms of action against Gram-negative bacteria has lead to the revival of old, formerly abandoned, drugs as last options. The polymyxins and fosfomycin are two such old antibiotics, which are increasingly relied upon when treating resistant infections.


Microbes – friend, foe or both?

Life on Earth is arranged in ecosystems where all species are dependent on each other in intricate networks. We humans are also part of ecosystems, but we also harbour one in ourselves, an ecosystem of microbes called the human microbiome.

It is time to stop thinking about bacteria only as something bad that need to be exterminated and start thinking about ecology. We also need to develop new anti-infective therapies that do not also kill our microbiome when they kill the pathogenic microbes that make us sick.


Essential Diagnostics List (EDL) to be developed

Along with the recommendations on antibiotics, the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection of Essential Medicines urged that an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL) be developed. Like the Essential Medicines List, the EDL would “provide evidence-based guidance to countries to create their own national lists of essential diagnostic tests and tools.


Media workshop on bacterial resistance in Ecuador: a success

Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global challenge that requires a concerted response by all members of society. Everyone can do their own part to address the growing threat. Journalists play an important role to spread and share information to other stakeholders. It is important to guide these professionals in their communications around the complex issue of antibiotic resistance and encourage them to join ReAct in the call to action.


New Factsheet from ReAct: The Human Microbiome

To learn more about our microbiome, read the new ReAct factsheet on the topic: “All You Wanted to Know About Microbes But Were Afraid to Ask… The Human Microbiome”.


Key take-aways from the World Health Assembly 2017 on antimicrobial resistance

During the 70th World Health assembly 60 countries and 11 non-state actors took the floor in what ended up being a 3-hour long debate on antimicrobial resistance. The debate touched on progress in developing national action plans and challenges in their implementation; support and concerns over the joint WHO, OIE and FAO progress document on the Development and Stewardship Framework as well as the newly established ad-hoc UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group.


Successful antimicrobial resistance media training in Kenya

Beginning of May, ReAct and EPN in partnership with the AMR Media Network Kenya conducted a one-day media training on antimicrobial resistance. The purpose was to raise awareness among journalists on antimicrobial resistance as a major public health challenge. The day was hosted by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).


ReAct Asia Pacific hosts workshop on antimicrobial resistance in the farm sector

Beginning of May, ReAct Asia Pacific organized a one-day consultation entitled “Workshop on Anti-Microbial Resistance and use of Antibiotics in non-human sectors” at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the State of Kerala, India. The workshop attracted over 60 delegates.


ReAct supports countries in the development of National Action Plans on AMR

National Action Plans are an essential component of the global strategies to address antibiotic resistance. At the country level, ReAct supports the development of National Action Plans together with partners from WHO, FAO, OIE and civil society organizations.


National action plans and global AMR framework on the agenda as 70th World Health Assembly

Antimicrobial resistance features on the agenda at the 70th World Health Assembly. Focus will be on country progress in developing their National Action Plans on antimicrobial resistance, progress on finalizing the Global Development and Stewardship Framework and finally the setup of the ad hoc UN Interagency Coordination Group.


ReAct co-hosts side event during World Health Assembly

Monday 22nd May, during the 70th World Health Assembly, ReAct, members of the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition and allies including South Centre, Médecins Sans Frontières, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, Health Action International and Medicus Mundi International will be co-hosting a side event.

World Water Day

Hand hygiene saves lives

The most influential measure to prevent infections in all of recorded history has been hand hygiene. As such, hand hygiene is not only about preventing infections, but also controlling antibiotic resistance. Hand hygiene is the single most important – and most cost-effective – measure to control spread of pathogens whether resistant to antibiotics or not.

World water day

Hand hygiene to prevent infections

Hand hygiene is the single most effective measure to stop transmission of health care associated pathogens. A variety of basic actions can be used to prevent and control infections.

A selection of basic hand hygiene resources can be found in the ReAct Toolbox.


Lack of access to old antibiotics drives antibiotic resistance development and impairs patient outcomes

Old, but still effective antibiotics used to treat a variety of common bacterial infections are becoming more difficult to access in many countries – often because companies withdraw the drugs from the market for commercial reasons.


The Swedish Government awards Reward Medal to Professor Otto Cars

Professor Otto Cars, founder of ReAct, is awarded a Reward Medal by the Swedish Government for his long time commitment and achievements on catalyzing action on antibiotic resistance both nationally and internationally.


Free online course: Antibiotic Resistance: the Silent Tsunami

The free online course “Antibiotic Resistance: the Silent Tsunami” introduces the concepts of antibiotic resistance and what actions are needed to meet this global health threat. Sign up now, start 24 April.


New antibiotics in the news

Every now and then, news headlines report on findings of new antibiotics, such as “Maple Syrup Can Kill Superbugs”. Often they are portrayed as ”new”, ”potent”, ”killing superbugs” or having ”no resistance development”. Just reading the headlines, you would be forgiven for thinking the antibiotic crisis is close to being solved. But this is not the case.


Tell Our Bac-Stories!

In one way or another we are all storytellers, we all have something to say. This is why ReAct Latin America, in cooperation with the University of Azuay and the Catholic University of Cuenca, has launched a regional open call: Tell Our Bac-Stories! The purpose is to collect stories about antibiotic resistance, Sumak Kawsay (an indigenous term for well being), antibiotic misuse, nutrition, mother earth, one health and similar topics.


Presentation of the Alforja Validation Project

A few weeks ago, the Alforja Validation Project was presented to the students of the Medicin Faculty from the Universidad Del Azuay and the Universidad Católica de Cuenca. This event took place in the Administration Room of the Universidad del Azuay, which was entirely filled with lots of enthusiastic guests.


Professor Otto Cars to serve as Expert in UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance

This week Professor Otto Cars, founder of ReAct – Action on Antibiotic Resistance, was formally nominated to the United Nations (UN) ad-hoc Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (ICG-AMR) by the United Nations Secretary General.


India’s link between tuberculosis and antibiotic resistance

Improving detection, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis in India, home to the world’s largest number of tuberculosis patients, may hold the key to bringing down both antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance globally.


India’s new National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

As one of the countries most affected by antimicrobial resistance India is now taking rapid strides to address the growing problem.


Professor Larsson on emissions from antibiotics production and India’s National Action Plan on AMR

Professor Joakim Larsson welcomes the section focusing on emissions from antibiotics production in new India’s draft for National Action Plan on Antibiotic Resistance.


Environmental effects of antibiotics in sewage

Clean, fresh water is one of the most important natural resources of the world. Yet large amounts of chemicals, including antibiotics, are released into the environment through wastewater.


Boston Consulting Group report shies away from addressing affordable access and stewardship

In a follow-up to a previous report, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) last week released Breaking through the Wall: A Call for Concerted Action on Antibiotics Research and Development, for the German Federal Ministry of Health.


WHO Releases Priority Pathogens List

ReAct welcomes the published WHO priority pathogens list (PPL), which is the first global effort to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics.  The major objective of the PPL is to guide the prioritization of incentives and funding, help align R&D priorities with public health needs and support global coordination in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Could the use of Antimicrobial Peptides create resistance to ourselves?

In the wake of antimicrobial resistance and the severe lack of new antibiotics being discovered, researchers have turned to alternative strategies.


Antibiotic Smart Use project nominated for global UN Award

In a major recognition of its contributions to public health Thailand’s Antibiotic Smart Use (ASU) project has been nominated for the prestigious UN Public Service Award 2017.


Recap of WHO 140th Executive Board meeting

The discussions on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 140th Executive Board meeting, had several interesting interventions from Member States on the key areas that the WHO was given responsibility over in the UNGA Political Declaration on AMR from September 2016.


New collaboration on strategies for tackling antibiotic resistance

ReAct and Stockholm Resilience Centre join forces on the global antibiotic resistance challenge.


ReAct briefings for the 140th WHO Executive Board

For the 140th session of WHO Executive Board, which run from January 23 to February 1, ReAct has developed and shared a briefing document for the agenda point on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR ) and a number of other relevant agenda points for Member State Missions in Geneva to consider.


The role of faith-based organizations in taking action against antibiotic resistance

Late December 2016 a group of more than 30 experts from the faith based health sector was invited to attend a workshop on strengthening faith-based engagement in “Combating the Emergence and Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance”, at the Vatican.


Bacteriophages as a part of hospital hygiene

Health-care associated infections are troublesome from many aspects, not only are they often more virulent or more resistant but also strike at the heart of health care: people go to the hospital to be cured, only to contract another potentially lethal disease.


ReAct wishes for 2017!

ReAct wishes for 2017, node by node.


Consensus around delinkage emerges - of sorts

A literature review on proposed incentive mechanisms for the R&D of new antibiotics by the EU-US TATFAR has shown a broad consensus on recommending delinkage. However, differences in definition are hiding underneath the consensus.


Bottlenecks of antibiotic research need to be addressed

While problems with antibiotic discovery and development are often discussed in the context of funding and return on investment, these factors are not the only ones. Even if the financial bottlenecks would be resolved, significant scientific and structural problems are still present and need to be addressed. We highlight a few of the scientific bottlenecks in antibiotic discovery, with links to further reading.