World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites resist the effects of medications, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
Antimicrobials are agents that are critical tools for fighting diseases in humans, animals and plants and include antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal medicines. Multiple factors – including overuse of medicines in humans, livestock, and agriculture, as well as poor access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene – have accelerated the threat of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
Following a stakeholder's consultation meeting in May 2020 organised by the Tripartite Organizations (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and World Health Organization (WHO)) the scope of WAAW was expanded, changing its focus from 'antibiotics' to the more encompassing and inclusive term 'antimicrobials'.
(Source: WHO website)
The University continues to promote antimicrobial resistance messages from the UK government and Public Health England as well as WHO outside of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.
The University is engaged in cross-disciplinary research into antimicrobial resistance. From examining deep-sea sponges in the search for new antibiotics, to inventing new technologies to detect antibiotic resistance in blood samples, for more effective prescribing of antibiotics.
- News release (16 November): Plymouth-led antibiotic discovery network goes global
- PR opinion (18 November): 'A threat greater than COVID' - why we should be paying more attention to antimicrobial resistance