Antibiotic Resistance Poses Worldwide Threat, WHO Says
Other recommendations that are outlined in the WHO report include educating the public and health care providers on the wiser use of antimicrobial drugs, and establishing treatment guidelines in hospitals, where resistant bugs often emerge. The WHO report also recommends decreasing the use of antibiotics in animals, increasing state funding for research on new drugs, and assuring that essential drugs are available, both to poor people in developed nations and to the governments of developing nations.
"It is a policy document," Heymann says of the report. "WHO is concerned that unless we make better use of these medications, they will not work in days to come."
The recommendations are likely to meet with some resistance themselves. In the U.S., for example, the FDA is considering adopting stricter rules about the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals, as has been done in several European nations. But the agency has encountered opposition from many in the agriculture industry who believe such rules are unnecessary and unwarranted.