Researchers from IRTA-CReSA participate in the National Plan on Antibiotic Resistance (PRAN)

Dr Ignacio Badiola and Dr Lourdes Migura, researchers from IRTA-CReSA, are actively involved in the Strategic and action plan to reduce the risk of selection and spread of antibiotic resistance. This National Plan (PRAN) aims to reduce the emergence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria due to inappropriate use of antibiotics in both, human and veterinary medicine. During the last decade, the emergence of bacteria resistant to last-generation antibiotics has put at risk the existing therapeutic arsenal, having negative consequences to human health. The PRAN has the objective to preserve the current available drugs to protect and ensure the treatment of infections diseases.

The PRAN is part of a joint European policy that responds to the global strategy promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for containment of antimicrobial resistance. All governments should have a national action plan in place by May 2017. The PRAN involves a total of 190 experts from different disciplines and public and private organizations such as Ministries (Health, Agriculture, Interior, Defense and Education), Autonomous Communities, scientific societies and associations, professionals, reference laboratories, professional platforms, external experts, universities and professional organizations.

Antimicrobial drugs are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism to survive an antimicrobial (i.e., antibiotic) that was originally vulnerable to. Consequently, conventional treatments become ineffective increasing morbidity and mortality. Additionally, infections persist in time intensifying the risk of spread. The increasing trend of antimicrobial resistant bacteria is mainly due to two different factors: the prescription of antibiotics to treat infectious diseases in human medicine, and the use of antimicrobials in animal production. The overuse of antimicrobials to treat food producing animals potentially increases the risk of introduction of resistant bacteria into the food chain and, therefore, resistant bacteria reaching the consumer. Definitively, fighting antimicrobial resistance requires interventions in two areas: improving antimicrobial use in both, human and animal medicine, and blocking transmission and spread of resistant organisms.

In this scenario, urgent and coordinated action is required at local, national, and international levels to ensure the adequate treatments, and to preserve the lifesaving power of antimicrobials for future generations. To achieve these objectives, the PRAN proposes six common strategic lines for human and animal health: 1) Surveillance of antibiotic consumption and antimicrobial resistance; 2) Control of bacterial resistance; 3) To identify and promote alternative and/or complementary measures of prevention and treatment; 4) To define research priorities; 5) Training and information to healthcare professionals; and 6) Communication and awareness of the entire population and population subgroups.

The IRTA-CReSA researchers are involved in 14 of the 24 measures proposed to achieve the objectives of the Plan.

More Information:

WHO activities on antimicrobial resistance: http://www.who.int/drugresistance/activities/en/

About IRTA:

IRTA is a research institute devoted to R+D+I in a variety of agri-food areas, such as vegetal production, animal production, food industries, environment and global change, and agri-food economy. The transfer of scientific advances contribute to the modernization, competitiveness and sustainable development of agriculture, food and aquaculture sectors, the supply of healthy and quality foods for consumers and, consequently, improving the welfare of the population. IRTA is assigned to the Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca, Alimentació i Medi Natural (DAAM, Department of Agriculture) of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia).

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