The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has released the report Combating Antibiotic Resistance to the President in conjunction with the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and the Presidential Executive Order on the importance of addressing this concerning issue.

The National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial and the Presidential Executive Order follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) first-ever view of the burden and threats posed by antibiotic-resistant germs in a 2013 report. At that time, the CDC identified four core actions to reduce this threat: preventing infections and the spread of resistance; tracking; improving antibiotic use/stewardship; and development of drugs and diagnostic tests.

RELATED: CDC: Measures Needed to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance “Pandemic”

PCAT is recommending the following steps to control antibiotic-resistance crisis:

  • Improving surveillance of the rise of antibiotic‐resistant bacteria to enable effective response, stop outbreaks, and limit the spread of antibiotic‐resistant organisms, and acting on surveillance data to implement appropriate infection control;
  • Increasing longevity of current antibiotic by improving the appropriate use of existing antibiotics, preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and scaling up proven interventions to decrease the rate at which microbes develop resistance to current antibiotics; and
  • Increasing rate of discovery and development of new antibiotics, including alternative interventions.

The Presidential Executive Order also established the Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Defense, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services. The Task Force will submit by February 15, 2015 a 5-year National Action Plan to the President that outlines specific measures for implementation of the Strategy, including goals, milestones, and metrics for measure progress and associated timelines for implementation.

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