Promoting Antibiotic Stewardship

image showing ASTHO report - Promoting antibiotic stewardship

Responsible for over 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the United States, antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing public health threats facing the world today. Infections from resistant bacteria are now too common, and some pathogens have even become resistant to multiple types or classes of antibiotics. As described in the recent CDC report, Antibiotic Resistant Threats in the United States, CDC, 2013 Cdc-pdf[PDF – 114 pages] , the consequences of inaction may be catastrophic. The report identifies 4 core actions to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance, including antibiotic stewardship.

Careful, judicious stewardship of antibiotics can help to improve patient outcomes, prevent death from resistant infections, slow resistance, and reduce healthcare costs. A new Association of State and Territorial Health Officials ( ASTHOExternal ) report, developed in partnership with CDC, Combating Antibiotic Resistance: Policies to Promote Antimicrobial Stewardship ProgramsExternal , outlines approaches for state health agencies to tackle the antibiotic resistance challenge by:

• summarizing current state activities to address antibiotic resistance
• describing challenges to implementation identified through three pilot projects
• providing recommendations for successful stewardship programs in state health agencies

The report supports CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, which provides a comprehensive approach to fulfilling CDC’s portion of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Cdc-pdf[PDF – 63 pages] . Partnerships like this are an important component of CDC’s efforts to strengthen public health capacities to address emerging health threats.