The Bella Moss Foundation has welcomed the attention drawn to the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials by the UK chief medical officer’s annual report, the second volume of which was published last week.
The Bella Moss Foundation (BMF) has welcomed the attention drawn to the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials by the UK chief medical officer’s report, the second volume of which was published last week (March 11, 2013).
Part two of Prof Dame Sally Davies’ annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases. It warns that very few new antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years, “leaving our armoury nearly empty as diseases evolve and become resistant to existing drugs”.
Prof Davies (right) said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a very real threat. If we have no suitable antibiotics to treat infection, minor surgery and routine operations could become high risk procedures.”
The Bella Moss Foundation has worked for the past seven years to develop a greater understanding of the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria (including MRSA), particularly in companion animals.
BMF clinical advisor Mike Jessop said: “The chief medical officer’s statement keeps the issue of antimicrobial resistance high on the political agenda. With a reducing likelihood of novel new antimicrobials in the near future, sensible use and valuing those that we do have is of increasing importance.”
The Bella Moss foundation has worked with the various British veterinary organisations and vet training schools to improve front-line clinical practice in the treatment and prevention of resistant infections.
However, while the threat posed by resistant bacteria is “real and immediate”, the foundation believes the situation is “not yet a health catastrophe” and claims the problems facing human and veterinary health “go far beyond the development of new generations of antibiotics”.
A spokesman for the charity said: “Human and animal health professionals are now much more aware of the need to be more systematic in their use of antibiotics and at the same time acknowledge that human and animal health are linked through the environment, contact and use of antibiotics.”
With this in mind, the foundation claims that reducing the risk posed by resistant bacteria can be achieved through three lines of action:
- ensuring antibiotics are used in a targeted way so that the specific characteristics of a particular bacteria are addressed in the treatment
- increasing awareness of the role played by the environment, to take account of the impact of the design and layout of clinical facilities and the way they are cleaned
- through rigorous adherence to regimes of personal hygiene, particularly the hands.
These three principles apply equally to human and animal health provision.