The U.K. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (Review) has this week released a report that highlights the extreme global health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Review, led by economist Jim O’Neill, specifically notes the threat of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the imperative of increased global investment in research and development to save the millions of lives lost each year due to AMR related to tuberculosis (TB) and other infectious diseases.
The final report warns that if new therapies, diagnostics and a new vaccine are not introduced, MDR-TB will be responsible for 2.5 million deaths per year by 2050, or roughly one quarter of the forecasted 10 million deaths related to AMR – equating to one death due to MDR-TB every 12 seconds. An interim paper entitled Vaccines and Alternative Approaches: Reducing our Dependence on Antimicobials, published by the Review in February 2016, also emphasized the overwhelming need for new TB vaccines as an essential component of the global strategy to overcome TB and to address MDR-TB.
A key finding of the final report is that increased public and private investment in research and development will be essential to combatting AMR – saving millions of lives, as well as avoiding the serious economic impact of this global public health emergency.
“The world urgently needs new, effective TB vaccines”, said Aeras and partners who are dedicated to achieving this goal – aiding the fight against both AMR and the global TB epidemic. “We urge that any investment of resources to combat AMR include the support for critical TB vaccine research and development. Together, we can help eliminate the threat of TB,” added Aeras.