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What Impression is Antimicrobial Resistance having on Animal Well being?

For World Antimicrobial Consciousness Week (WAAW) 2022, we communicate to Junxia Music, FAO Senior Animal Well being Officer, in regards to the affect antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is having on animal well being.

Please are you able to introduce your self and inform us about your function on the Meals and Agricultural Group of the United Nations (FAO)?

My title is Junxia Music. I at present work on the Joint Centre for Zoonotic Ailments and Antimicrobial Resistance at FAO headquarters.

As FAO AMR Focal Level and Head of Unit, I lead the event and implementation of the FAO Motion Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021 – 2025, coordinate AMR actions with inside and exterior companions, and contribute considerably to the Quadripartite collaboration (FAO, UNEP, WHO and WOAH). I additionally coordinate endemic zoonoses (rabies, brucellosis, zoonotic TB, and many others.) on the Centre.

Because the senior animal well being officer for the FAO, what do you personally consider to be a number of the largest threats to animal well being in at this time’s world?

Antimicrobials are one among farming’s most necessary instruments for treating infections. With out them, meals manufacturing will decline. This implies much less earnings for households in a susceptible state of affairs and diminished meals safety and vitamin. Misuse and overuse of antimicrobial medicine in human drugs, veterinary drugs, and meals manufacturing have put our future in danger.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) happens when micro organism, viruses, fungi, and parasites now not reply to antimicrobial brokers. On account of drug resistance, antibiotics and different antimicrobial brokers change into ineffective, and infections change into troublesome or unimaginable to deal with, growing the chance of illness unfold, extreme sickness, and demise.

The findings of the International Analysis on Antimicrobial Resistance research present that drug-resistant bacterial infections contributed to nearly 5 million human deaths in 2019, making AMR a number one explanation for demise globally. If motion shouldn’t be taken quickly to sluggish the unfold of antimicrobial resistance, increasingly more of the life-saving medicines we depend on to maintain our households, animals, and vegetation wholesome will now not work. This might drive hundreds of thousands extra individuals into excessive poverty, starvation, and malnutrition.

Good husbandry practices, biosecurity, sanitation, hygiene, vaccination, and different an infection prevention measures are important to cut back the necessity for antimicrobials in animals and antimicrobial pesticides in vegetation.

Picture Credit score: Jarun Ontakrai/

The World Well being Group has described antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as being one of many high ten threats to humanity. Regardless of this, the widespread results of AMR should not publicly understood. In addition to its detrimental affect on human well being, what results is AMR having on each animals and the setting?

  • AMR is a silent pandemic that has been spreading for many years and was linked to almost 5 million human deaths worldwide in 2019. Projections for 2050 recommend that drug-resistant infections might be among the many main causes of demise, together with pandemics, heart problems, and most cancers, if we don’t act now.
  • Nevertheless, the meals and agriculture sectors have an important function on this international struggle towards AMR. Antimicrobial use (AMU) is likely one of the foremost drivers for AMR. AMU for livestock is anticipated to proceed growing to maintain tempo with the rising human demand for animal merchandise. Because the creation of antimicrobials, resistant organisms in livestock have elevated exponentially, together with in low- and middle-income international locations (LMICs).
  • The growing development in AMR and the emergence of latest antimicrobial resistance determinants and genes in terrestrial and aquatic animal manufacturing is of concern to producers and human sufferers, as a fraction of all human drug-resistant infections are additionally related to foodborne or animal sources. AMR from animals reaches people via many modes of transmission, and as soon as a person turns into a provider, AMR spreads quickly inside and between communities. Transmission can start on the farm stage after which be carried by animals into the meals chain. Resistant organisms will also be launched throughout meals merchandise’ dealing with, processing, transport, storage, and preparation. AMR also can attain the final inhabitants by passing from human and agricultural sources into the setting and into wildlife populations. People might be uncovered to contaminated water, soil, and agricultural merchandise.
  • Along with the general public well being difficulty, there may be additionally a major dimension to the AMR downside associated to the potential potential of AMR to threaten international meals safety, economies, meals methods, and livelihoods.
    • Meals safety: AMR additionally undermines veterinary drugs, compromising animal manufacturing and destabilizes meals safety. The World Financial institution has already projected that livestock manufacturing in low-income international locations might decline by 11 p.c by 2050 on account of AMR.  
    • Economies: As well as, projections present a lack of practically 4 p.c of the world’s annual gross home product (GDP) on account of AMR by 2050.
    • Meals methods and livelihoods: The nationwide and international meals trade is already below stress as shoppers change into extra knowledgeable about using antimicrobials in meals manufacturing and much more in order the affect of AMR microorganisms within the meals chain and on the human microbiome turns into higher understood. Nevertheless, not all meals producers or customers of antimicrobials within the meals chain are prepared or capable of proceed on the similar tempo. Furthermore, low- and middle-income international locations are most affected by the implications of AMR, as infectious illnesses disproportionately burden them. In simply ten years, 24 million extra individuals might be pushed into excessive poverty due to AMR, in response to the World Financial institution report[1] printed in 2017.
  • A broader vary of information is being gained that can assist to extra precisely assess any points associated to potential disruptions and impacts on meals safety and livelihoods.

Yearly, you, together with different members of the quadripartite, have fun World Antimicrobial Consciousness Week (WAAW) with the theme for 2022 being “Stopping Antimicrobial Resistance Collectively”. What does this theme imply to you?

  • WAAW reminds us the entire significance of every of our sectors and dealing collectively to fight AMR. AMR arises from the advanced transmission or publicity pathways involving people, animals, vegetation, and the setting, which implies that AMR shouldn’t be the duty of only one sector. Because of this we’re appearing “collectively” in any respect ranges; on the international stage, FAO is working carefully with its Quadripartite companions to deal with the problem.
  • AMR has been referred to as a silent pandemic that would overtake us if we’re not proactive. In recent times, we’ve realized from the COVID -19 pandemic that it’s higher to forestall such colossal impacts than to react to them. From the painful classes, this yr’s message re-emphasizes that we should forestall AMR, which might be the subsequent pandemic.
  • Subsequently, I can solely agree with this yr’s theme. As we regularly say, “prevention is best than treatment” Though this may occasionally sound grandiose, to forestall AMR from changing into the subsequent pandemic, we will begin with the next easy however sensible rules: improved biosecurity and hygiene measures on farms, vaccination of animals, correct waste administration in agricultural manufacturing and way more.


Picture Credit score: Kateryna Kon/

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one main problem for humanity lately. What do you suppose are the successes, and what are the teachings realized that might be helpful for tackling AMR?

  • There’s a direct hyperlink between infectious illness pandemics and the medicine we use to deal with them.
  • Antibiotics have confirmed important in treating secondary bacterial infections throughout COVID -19.
  • The pandemic has highlighted the significance of understanding how agrifood methods hyperlink animals, individuals, and the setting. The rules of illness prevention in a One Well being method apply not solely to COVID -19 but additionally to the AMR response.
  • The institution of the AMR Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform as one of many international governance buildings for AMR alongside the International Leaders Group on AMR is a Quadripartite response to the advice of the UN Interagency Coordination Group on AMR report “No time to attend: Securing the long run from drug-resistant infections” to “set up a constituency-based partnership platform to develop and work in direction of a shared international imaginative and prescient, objectives and coordinated motion on AMR”.
  • The platform might be an inclusive, worldwide multi-stakeholder discussion board that brings collectively stakeholders from the human, animal, plant, and environmental sectors to assist protect antimicrobials as life-saving medicines and guarantee their accountable use inside a One Well being method. It’s a voluntary, collaborative coordination mechanism established by the Quadripartite to catalyze a worldwide motion for motion towards AMR to contribute to implementing the International Motion Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and nation nationwide motion plans.

In addition to offering a brand new theme every year, you will have an overarching theme that continues to be the identical, “Deal with Antimicrobials with Care”. Why is that this such an necessary message to be sharing globally, and the way can the secure and applicable use of antimicrobials restrict the unfold of resistance in each people and animals?

  • The best way we use (and misuse) antimicrobials is resulting in a rise in antimicrobial resistance in human well being and the meals and agriculture sectors.
    • The extra antimicrobials we use, the higher the chance of antimicrobial resistance turns into.
    • We have now change into accustomed to counting on antibiotics to treatment human infections, even when we’re not positive they’re needed.
    • The identical is true within the meals trade and agriculture – typically antimicrobials are used at alarming charges to deal with illness with no confirmed analysis.
    • Much more problematic is their on a regular basis use to forestall illness in animals and vegetation or to make animals develop sooner.
  • Nevertheless, the enabling setting – or lack thereof – exacerbates the issue. Within the meals and agriculture sectors of low- and middle-income international locations, social and financial elements make it troublesome for individuals to undertake really useful practices:
    • Microbes emerge and unfold on account of poor hygiene and insufficient illness prevention on the many phases of the meals chain – from manufacturing and preparation to sale and consumption.
    • Insufficient entry to certified veterinarians and different animal well being professionals results in the mistaken medicines getting used or inappropriate manufacturing methods being launched.
    • The dearth of well-resourced and revered regulatory methods facilitates the sale of antimicrobials with no prescription and even counterfeit and substandard medicines. o Insufficient infrastructure makes it unimaginable to offer enough sanitation and different needed companies.
  • In lots of LMICs, that is compounded by a scarcity of oversight and regulation for using antimicrobials. Subsequently, it is very important encourage all stakeholders – from drug dispensers and sellers to customers – to make use of antimicrobials responsibly whereas guaranteeing honest entry to medicines when wanted. FAO will proceed to help stakeholders to make use of antimicrobials correctly by offering the mandatory steerage and coaching on remedy, management, and preventive use, in shut collaboration with Quadripartite companions and consistent with finest practices and worldwide requirements.

Campaign Material

Picture Credit score: FAO

To enhance international well being, we should think about the well being of animals and the setting. Subsequently, how will the advance of animal well being subsequently enhance the well being of people?

  • Antimicrobials are necessary medicines for the remedy of infectious illnesses in terrestrial and aquatic animals and contribute to animal well being and welfare
  • Antimicrobials’ accountable and prudent use in animals is essential to optimizing animal well being and welfare whereas lowering the chance of the emergence and unfold of antimicrobial resistance. It ought to be thought of an built-in a part of international well being to guard animal, human, plant, and environmental well being.
  • We have to allow more practical agricultural practices to extend profitability and scale back the burden of an infection by lowering over-reliance on antimicrobials and the emergence of AMR. Sturdy animal well being methods, together with resilient biosecurity, prevention, and an infection management measures, are elementary to improved animal well being and welfare. When correctly designed and applied, they will scale back the burden of infectious illnesses in animal populations and scale back reliance on antimicrobials and the chance of emergence and unfold of antimicrobial resistance.
  • FAO works with stakeholders to enhance animal well being by additionally strengthening their capability to handle AMR dangers, the prudent antimicrobial use, and the efficient agricultural practices talked about above, which contribute to the primary objectives of FAO within the struggle towards AMR:
    • Lowering AMR ranges and slowing the emergence and unfold of resistance throughout the meals chain and for all meals and agriculture sectors 
    • Preserving the power to deal with infections with efficient and secure antimicrobials to maintain meals and agricultural manufacturing 
  • As defined in a earlier response, intertwined transmission routes, meals, and agricultural manufacturing can have an effect on human and environmental well being. By reaching FAO’s objectives, we’ll assist scale back the burden of drug-resistant infections in people and preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobials because the cornerstone of human drugs. That is FAO’s contribution to the GAP on AMR, which should be applied as a part of a One Well being method.

Alongside your work inside antimicrobial resistance, what are a number of the different tasks you might be at present concerned in?

  • FAO helps international locations in lowering AMR dangers through the use of its experience in aquatic and terrestrial animal well being and manufacturing, meals and feed security, genetic sources, crop manufacturing, pure useful resource administration, threat communication, and behavioral science.
  • The brand new FAO Motion Plan on AMR 2021-2025 guides FAO’s motion through 5 key targets:
    1. growing stakeholder consciousness and engagement;
    2. strengthening surveillance and analysis;
    3. enabling good practices to cut back infections;
    4. selling accountable use of antimicrobials; and
    5. strengthening governance and allocating sources sustainably.
  • FAO has tasks in over 40 international locations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to assist the meals and agriculture group higher perceive and tackle AMR. Every of those tasks addresses a number of of FAO’s 5 targets and works straight with stakeholders to cut back AMR dangers.
  • The AMR Multi-Accomplice Belief Fund (MPTF) is a vital instrument to fund Quadripartite collaborative motion and help the scale-up of the One Well being method at nationwide, regional, and international ranges. As of September 2022, the useful resource companions are the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK Fleming Fund, and Germany. Since its launch in 2019, the MPTF has mobilized greater than US$26 million. 
  • Ten nation packages have been accredited by the Steering Committee (Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Tajikistan, Senegal, and Zimbabwe) and at the moment are within the implementation section. Every nation has obtained about USD 1 million for a two-year program. The Fund helps actions akin to catalytic and coordinated coverage recommendation, technical help, and capability constructing as requested by the Quadripartite international locations.
  • FAO is dedicated to creating the constructing blocks that can catalyze nationwide efforts to usually generate, share and analyze dependable and comparable AMR knowledge in meals and agriculture and antimicrobial use knowledge in vegetation and crops. Substantial progress has been made on this regard. Through the second half of 2021, FAO accomplished a necessities evaluation to tell the event of an IT answer for the Worldwide FAO AMR Monitoring (InFARM) platform. Since early 2022, FAO has been creating a prototype of the platform. International locations are invited to take part within the pilot testing utilizing their very own knowledge till the tip of the yr.
  • FAO will launch a worldwide marketing campaign to cut back the necessity for antimicrobials in agrifood methods over the subsequent decade, often known as the Scale back the Want for Antimicrobials on Farms (RENOFARM) initiative. The initiative is action-oriented and entails your entire manufacturing chain in a joint effort to strengthen capability on the major manufacturing stage. It extensively makes use of science and revolutionary applied sciences, strengthening public-private partnerships and collaboration with the FAO’s Hand-in-Hand initiative.
  • RENOFARM goals to straight contribute to higher manufacturing and vitamin by making farms more healthy and extra sustainable by introducing or bettering finest practices, well being and vaccination packages, biosecurity measures, and antimicrobial alternate options.

Animal Health

Picture Credit score: fotopanorama360/

Are you hopeful that with continued consciousness and analysis into antimicrobial resistance, we’ll at some point see a world with out it? What would this imply for animal well being?

  • It ought to be remembered that AMR is a pure phenomenon that has existed since microorganisms have been current on our planet. It’s their method of defending themselves to outlive and replicate in people, animals, vegetation, and the setting. Nevertheless, because the discovery of antimicrobials, i.e., antibiotics, and their growing use by people, particularly via overuse and misuse, the event of resistance mechanisms has additionally elevated.
  • Since AMR is a pure phenomenon, we can not think about a world with out it. Nonetheless, we will do extra to cut back AMR because it develops and spreads and to regain increasingly more of the power to make use of these important medicine to deal with in any other case life-threatening infections. In a number of international locations that began combating AMR a number of years in the past, it’s attainable to return to the present state of affairs [examples from America/Canada, Europe/Denmark, Asia/China]. To do that, it’s important to offer already identified instruments (vaccines, diagnostics, waste administration remedy) and enhance funding to seek out and develop new methods to forestall and reply to AMR. Analysis performs an important function on this, whether or not it’s to enhance our data, e.g., about transmission routes, but additionally to develop revolutionary options.
  • AMR is a worldwide problem that we’ve to sort out utilizing a One Well being method, and there’s a have to additionally put money into analysis in every of the particular sectors (human well being, animal well being, plant/crop well being – together with the meals manufacturing and security dimension – and setting) but additionally on the interface between sectors. For the time being, that is nonetheless not sufficient. The present panorama of tasks on AMR Analysis and Improvement and correspondent funds within the knowledge out there within the International AMR R&D Hub[1] present that funding for R&D tasks for cross-sectoral analysis is lower than 10% of the entire.
  • Consciousness-raising performs an important function as a primary step in producing curiosity among the many numerous stakeholders involved and the final inhabitants. Nevertheless, research have proven that data about a problem shouldn’t be sufficient to set off motion. FAO helps a complete consciousness marketing campaign and conducts behavioral science interventions to bridge this hole between data and motion/dedication, such because the Farmer Discipline Colleges in Africa.
  • For animal well being, because of this animals are much less contaminated/sick due to good husbandry amenities and practices, on-farm biosecurity, vaccines, and diagnostics. We are going to quickly launch an initiative to advertise and help international locations to cut back the necessity for antimicrobials on farms and invite you to comply with our web site carefully.

How can individuals become involved and assist to boost consciousness for World Antimicrobial Consciousness Week?

All through the week, quite a few occasions are deliberate at headquarters, and regional and nation places of work, together with the official launch of the AMR Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform.

See the official WAAW webpage for concepts on spreading consciousness in your group. The WAAW Trello board additionally has a number of sources, together with visuals to your social media platforms. 

Do not forget to make use of #WAAW and #AntimicrobialResistance hashtags to affix the dialogue!

The place can our readers go to maintain up-to-date with the FAO’s tasks and tales?

For extra details about FAO’s on AMR, please seek the advice of our web site: Antimicrobial Resistance | Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (

About Junxia Music, FAO Senior Animal Well being OfficerJunxia Song

Junxia Music is a Senior Animal Well being Officer and AMR Focal Level on the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations. She leads the event and implementation of the FAO Motion Plan on AMR 2021 – 2025. She has intensive expertise within the prevention and management of zoonoses, transboundary animal illnesses (TADs), and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

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