he spread of drug-resistant pathogens, known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is a growing public health concern. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to antibiotics or other antimicrobial medicines. As a result, common infections that we used to treat easily – such as pneumonia or tuberculosis – become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.1
The increase in hospitalizations and antibiotic use to treat COVID-19 may futher exacerbate AMR2, estimated to cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050.3 At Johnson & Johnson, we are a leader in advancing innovation that can potentially outpace AMR infections. From the lab to the last mile, we are committed to developing and responsibly deploying innovative technologies and treatments to combat the growing threat of AMR on multiple fronts.
Antimicrobial resistant pathogens can cause local outbreaks or be carried within and across national borders. While AMR can affect everyone, everywhere, the causes and consequences of AMR differ in developing and emerging markets compared to developed countries.
Besides raising the awareness of AMR and stewardship with respect to the use of antimicrobials, three strategies to respond to AMR are critical in every context:
1 Antimicrobial Resistance. World Health Organization. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance. Last accessed: October 2021.
2 Pelfrene, E., et al. Antimicrobial multidrug resistance in the era of COVID-19: a forgotten plight?. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 10, 21 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-021-00893-z. Last accessed: November 2021.
3 Review on antimicrobial resistance. Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: Final report and recommendations. Available at: https://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160525_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf. Last accessed: October 2021.
*NOTE: The statistics around infections and deaths caused by ExPEC are based on figures in the U.S. which have been multiplied by a factor of 22, extrapolating the U.S. figure to a global population figure.