U.S. Action & Events to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a national public health priority, and the U.S. government has taken ambitious steps to fight this threat. Federal agencies are working together to:

  • Respond to new and ongoing antibiotic-resistant threats
  • Strengthen detection of antibiotic resistance
  • Enhance efforts to slow the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance
  • Improve antibiotic use and reporting of how and when antibiotics are used
  • Advance development of rapid diagnostics for resistant pathogens
  • Enhance infection control measures to prevent resistant infections
  • Accelerate research on new antibiotics and antibiotic alternatives

Key U.S. Actions: 2013 to present

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    2013

    • CDC released the first Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report to look at the burden and threats to human health posed by antibiotic resistance in the U.S., which brought attention to the threat and prompted government and industry leaders to take immediate action
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    2014

    • The White House released the U.S. National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
    • The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report on combating antibiotic resistance
    • The president issued Executive Order 13676 directing federal agencies to implement the PCAST report recommendations and establish:
      • The Interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, a group of federal agencies tasked to implement the National Action Plan, chaired by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Agriculture, and Defense
      • Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria external icon(PACCARB), a group of voting members from non-governmental agencies, including human and animal health experts, that provides recommendations to HHS on federal programs and policies to combat antibiotic resistance
    • The Global Health Security Agenda was launched, including action on antibiotic resistance
    • CDC published Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs, followed by guidance for other settings
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    2015

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    2016

    • CDC established the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (AR Lab Network) to support nationwide lab capacity and funded local antibiotic resistance experts in every state, major cities, and Puerto Rico
    • Under the AR Solutions Initiative, CDC awarded the first innovation funding ($40 million) to academic, industry, and healthcare investigators, including CDC’s Prevention Epicenters Program
    • CDC launched the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance Module to report and analyze antibiotic use in healthcare facilities through the National Healthcare Safety Network (a national healthcare infection tracking system)
    • U.S. government participated in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance, where nations passed a resolution to combat antibiotic resistance worldwide
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    2017

    • The President issued an Executive Order to continue advisory committees, including the PACCARB, reflecting the administration’s commitment to combating antibiotic resistance
    • CDC added the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center to AR Lab Network
    • FDA released Veterinary Feed Directive to help ensure antibiotics are only used to treat and prevent infections in food animals
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    2018

    • U.S. government participated in the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, which covered topics related to antibiotic resistance
    • U.S. government launched The AMR Challenge, a year-long campaign spearheaded by CDC to encourage global organizations to make formal commitments that further the progress against resistance
    • CDC co-hosted a forum focused on antibiotic resistance in the environment (e.g., water, soil) and the potential effect on human health, resulting in a published report titled Initiatives for Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment
    • CDC released the Containment Strategy to help stop the spread of new or emerging resistance
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    2019

    • PulseNet laboratories transitioned to whole genome sequencing for foodborne germs
    • U.S. government, spearheaded by CDC and the U.S. HHS, concluded The AMR Challenge with more than 350 partner commitments worldwide
    • CDC published the second Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report
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    2020