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World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2023: preventing antimicrobial resistance together

17 November 2023



Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a significant global threat, impacting human, animal, plant, food, and environmental sectors, with nearly 5 million deaths associated with bacterial AMR in 2019[1]. Every year, on November 18-24, the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) serves as a crucial platform to raise awareness about the growing threat of AMR and collaborative efforts required to address this global health challenge.


What is AMR?

AMR occurs when microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites become resistant to antimicrobials, impacting their effectiveness. Overuse of these medications contributes to the growing challenge.


Why Does it Matter?

AMR jeopardizes life-saving healthcare procedures. It's not just a future concern; it's affecting patients now and will continue to do so, without urgent action.


Vaccines play a pivotal role in the fight against AMR

The profound impact of vaccines on disease prevention by averting infections is widely recognised, and it becomes even more apparent in the context of combating AMR as they reduce the need for antimicrobial treatments. As we celebrate the advancements in vaccine development, we acknowledge their crucial role in preserving the effectiveness of antimicrobials.

Combating AMR requires a united front. Individuals, governments, and organisations worldwide must join forces to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials. Here, vaccines stand out as a preventative measure, reducing the reliance on antimicrobial treatments and contributing to a healthier future.


EVI contributing to the fight against AMR

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) emphasises the collaborative efforts needed to raise awareness and combat the growing threat of AMR.

The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) actively contributes to the global fight against AMR through the PrIMAVeRa, ShigaPlexIM and SHIGETECVAX projects: PrIMAVeRa focuses on developing a computational model to predict the impact of vaccination in combating AMR. ShigaPlexIM and SHIGETECVAX are committed to the development of vaccines against Shigella sonnei, one of the main causes of diarrheal diseases in low- and middle-income countries and a pathogen susceptible to extensively drug-resistant (XDR) variants.

WAAW provides an ideal occasion to emphasise the effectiveness of vaccines in a general context, not limited to the ones tailored for fighting AMR pathogens. Several viral vaccines, such as those protecting against respiratory viruses like Flu, RSV, or COVID-19, can indirectly play a role in preventing the misuse of antibiotics.

Join the global movement to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

Explore resources provided by the World Health Organization to enhance awareness: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-amr-awareness-week/2023

 

[1] https://www.who.int/news/item/06-06-2023-world-antimicrobial-awareness-week-(waaw)-will-now-be-world-amr-awareness-week Funding: The mentioned projects are funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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