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National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

 Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – germs that don’t respond to the drugs developed to kill them - threaten to return us to the time when simple infections were often fatal. Today, antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually cause at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States.

Detecting, preventing and controlling antibiotic resistance requires coordinated efforts. To support the President’s Executive Order and the White House’s National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria [PDF - 37 pages], CDC is working to address the threat in these four areas:

  • Slow the development of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections. 
  • Strengthen national one-health surveillance efforts to combat resistance. 
  • Advance development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria.
  •  Improve international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic resistance prevention, surveillance, control and antibiotic research and development. 

The Details

Slow the development of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections.

  • Fight antibiotic resistance threats across healthcare and in the community – Expand efforts to coordinate detection and management of infected patients in healthcare settings and enhance infrastructure to rapidly detect and respond to outbreaks.
  • Improve antibiotic stewardship – Educate healthcare providers on getting patients the right medicine at the right time, which includes prescribing only when necessary and providing every U.S. hospital with CDC’s checklist for antibiotic stewardship.

Slow the development of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections.

  • Leverage regional labs and a new resistant bacteria bank – CDC’s support of these activities will speed outbreak detection and aid in the development of new antibiotics and diagnostic testing.
  • Target outbreaks and hotspots – Improve monitoring of antibiotic-resistant threats to ensure rapid outbreak response, gain knowledge of emerging pathogens to help control spread, and understand trends in antibiotic resistance and prescribing to target interventions.
  • Support and track food safety – Track resistance in humans as it relates to food safety and antibiotics given to animals and promote shared antibiotic stewardship to help make food safer.
  • Expand data reporting – Enhance tools for states and facilities to report antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance data to CDC, and developing a comprehensive public data portal on antibiotic resistance. 

Advance development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria.

  • Spur innovation – CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will contribute to the development of faster tests to identify drug-resistant infections and identify hotspots in healthcare environments to discover new ways to prevent the spread of resistance. CDC will also evaluate the impact of early pediatric antibiotic use on adverse events later in life.
  • Leverage advanced molecular diagnostics – CDC and NIH will ensure to ensure that resistant infections are quickly recognized and treated, and to better understand the role of the microbiome in human health.

Improve international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic resistance prevention, surveillance, control and antibiotic research and development.

  • Enhance global response – Partner with countries to strengthen antibiotic stewardship and help ensure public health laboratories around the world are able to identify and report resistant bacteria with global health implications.

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