U.S. National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (National Strategy)

Published September 2014

The National Strategy is a plan for the U.S. to work with domestic and international partners to reduce the national and international threat of antibiotic resistance.

The National Strategy was released alongside Executive Order 13676 and a report on combating antibiotic resistance by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). These materials informed the U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, released in 2015.

All of us who depend on antibiotics must join in a common effort to detect, stop, and prevent the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria. 

National Strategy

PCAST’s 3 Key Recommendations:

  1. Improve tracking antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  2. Increase the life of current antibiotics by improving use and implementing interventions
  3. Increase speed to discover and develop new antibiotics and other interventions

Guiding Principles

The National Strategy takes into account both the causes of antibiotic resistance and opportunities to combat the threat, including:

  • Using antibiotics, including misuse and over-use, in healthcare and food production accelerate the development of antibiotic resistance
  • Detecting and responding to antibiotic resistance requires the adoption of a One Health approach to data collection, recognizing that the health of people is connected to the health and animals and the environment
  • Implementing evidence-based infection control practices can prevent the spread of resistance
  • Encouraging development of more therapies and drugs to treat infections
  • Identifying opportunities to use innovations and new technologies to develop next generation tools to support human and animal health
  • Recognizing that antibiotic resistance is a global health problem that requires international attention and collaboration

Main Goals

The National Strategy identified five main goals to guide collaborative action taken by the U.S. federal government:

  • Slow the emergence 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
  • Accelerate basic and applied research and development for new antibiotics, other therapeutics, and vaccines objectives
  • Improve international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic resistance prevention, surveillance, control, and antibiotic research and development

National and International Partnerships

The National Strategy requires cooperation from the public and private sector in the U.S., including:

  • Healthcare providers and leaders
  • Veterinarians
  • Agriculture industry leaders
  • Manufacturers
  • Universities
  • Scientists and researchers
  • Policymakers
  • Patients

The National Strategy also calls for partnerships with international human and animal health organizations, including:

  • Ministries of health, agriculture, and food safety
  • World Health Organization
  • Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Global Health Security Agenda
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • World Organization for Animal Health