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Policy & Global Development, Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance: The Role of Animals and the Environment

Series | Policy Briefs #60


[This document is one of a series of discussion notes addressing fundamental questions about global health. Its purpose is to transfer scientific knowledge into the public conversation and decision-making process. The papers are based on the best information available and may be updated as new information comes to light.]


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a challenge that affects not only our health, but also that of animals and the environment. Understanding this link is essential to tackle a problem that cuts across borders and sectors.

We have made significant progress in the fight against AMR in recent decades, but the European Union and its Member States must remain firm in their stance regarding a threat that could be exacerbated by the impact of climate change on agriculture, livestock farming and the epidemiology of infectious diseases. It is essencial to continue ongoing efforts, but we also need to propose new measures if we are to avoid the risk of our world spiralling into a post-antibiotic era. Governments bodies and public agencies in Spain and Europe must work closely with all the relevant actors to implement the necessary measures.

This is the second in a series of policy briefs by ISGlobal on bacterial resistance to antibiotics. It proposes a conceptual framework for understanding AMR that includes animals and the environment, analyses the state of legislation and makes recommendations. It was written by Sara Soto, Claudia García-Vaz, Clara Marín, Jon Ander González, Antón Bermúdez, Jordi Vila, Marina Tarrús and Elisabet Guiral.