USA- BD has announced a partnership with Pfizer and Wellcome to advance antimicrobial stewardship practices.

According to a news release, the collaboration builds on ongoing efforts to advance the role of diagnostics in addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites evolve and cease to respond to medications. These modifications make infections more difficult to treat and raise the risk of disease transmission, severe illness, and death.

As the organisms that cause infections become more drug resistant, even routine medical procedures such as surgery, childbirth, and chemotherapy can become life-threatening.

A continued rise in AMR could claim 10 million lives globally each year by 2050, which is more than the number of people who die from cancer today, the statement said.

The companies will survey existing diagnostic practices to identify benefits and gaps in AMR stewardship diagnostic testing in order to improve and advocate for patient care, clinical practice, and healthcare economics.

Diagnostic stewardship — meaning coordinated guidance and interventions to improve appropriate use of microbiological diagnostics to guide therapeutic decisions — promotes appropriate, timely diagnostic testing, including specimen collection and pathogen identification as well as accurate, timely reporting of results to guide patient treatment,” BD President of Integrated Diagnostic Solutions Brooke Story said in the release.

Research has shown that significant barriers must be overcome to make health care workers aware of the importance and positive impact of diagnostics on AMR,” Ms Story added.

The collaboration aims to improve the implementation of the AMR Review organization’s recommendations for new rapid diagnostics to reduce antibiotic overuse, with COVID-19 placing AMR into focus.

Despite the low risk of secondary bacterial infections in the majority of patients, early case studies and surveys of COVID-19 treatment pathways revealed a high proportion of antibiotic use.

Antimicrobial resistance has come to the forefront as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with early case studies and surveys of COVID-19 treatment pathways revealing a high proportion of antibiotic use despite a low risk of secondary bacterial infections in the majority of patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a bulletin warning about the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the possibility of AMR based on this early data.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE