Microbiology expert champions One Health approach to tackling antibiotic resistance globally
Newswise — In a recent opinion piece published in the journal One Health, Oladele “Dele” Ogunseitan, PhD, UC Presidential Chair and Professor of Population Health and Disease Prevention at UCI Public Health, advocates new approaches to combat one of the world’s most pressing health issues. issues of today: resistance to antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance is a natural process that arises from overprescription of antibiotics, overuse in food farming, and incomplete courses of antibiotics that result in the emergence of resistant bacterial strains, or “superbugs.” Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem of disparities, with some regions of the world more affected by the disease than others. To fill these gaps, Ogunseitan argues, we should look to the One Health model for solutions.
According to the CDC, One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely linked to the health of animals and our common environment. In the context of antimicrobial resistance, Ogunseitan envisions a group of One Health Antibiotic Stewards – trained and equipped with the knowledge and skills to disseminate critical infection prevention information – deployed to high-risk areas as part of a global plan of action.
The plan, Ogunseitan explains in his post, would involve four pillars: governance and control, monitoring and data availability; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Research and Development. Key to each of these pillars is our ability to empower One Health antibiotic managers to engage in community strategies to improve knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about antibiotics.
“Clearly, bacterial resistance to antimicrobials is an emergency that jeopardizes population health, food security and environmental quality,” Ogunseitan writes. “The proposed remediation strategies are based on improving antibiotic stewardship through deeper knowledge, conservative attitudes and preventive practices in the agricultural, environmental and human health sectors, requiring a One Health approach par excellence.”
Read the full text here.