Increasing human mobility and trade between different countries in Europe contributes to the spread of multi-drug resistant organisms and a pan-European approach is needed to tackle the problem. AMR is a global public health concern. Therefore, knowledge and best-practices of application of newly developed AMC have to be disseminated throughout Europe (and even globally) to help reduce the development and spread of multidrug resistant microorganisms.
This Action gathers participants from top research centres, producers and processors of AMC in different environments, as well as organizations involved in the compliance with international standards on hygiene, with an emphasis on antibiotic resistance. Since bacterial resistance is not confined to only hospital environments, this Action will take a lifecycle approach, taking into account all products and environments that are involved. A lot of knowledge is already available with respect to AMC, but it is fragmented due to its origin, its biological effect and application in different sectors. The set-up and cross-overs reached by this Action will allow combination of available knowledge and stimulate further development and application of innovative and efficient antimicrobial products.
The added value of combining different networks and sectors is that best- practices and accumulated knowledge can be exchanged. In addition, this Action will actively enable the translation of knowhow on the application of AMC from other sectors to healthcare, as so-called crossovers. This may lead to a reduction in the spread of infection episodes and to an increase in the efficacy in the fight against bacterial resistance to current antibiotics. Each partner in the AMICI network has a unique and valuable expertise empowering the strength of this multidisciplinary and complementary consortium. The introduction of a new European regulation on the usage of biocides raises the concern that active ingredients currently used in AMC will be disallowed after 2016. Producers of coatings with active ingredients need support to assess the different antimicrobial products used in coatings. Their participation in this Action will give an added value to the potential of their products as well as the estimation of its impact in healthcare, based on experience and tests elsewhere. This will help to improve products and their applications to fight resistance in a responsible manner. Different test standards are used to assess the effectiveness of AMC. The coordination of this Action will lead to the development; standardisation and dissemination of a validated rapid-screening test for AMC that takes into account both antimicrobial activity and the possible development of microbial resistance. This is essential to evaluate and compare different AMC used in Europe. It makes benchmarking possible, stimulating producers to go for the best and provides tools and data that can be used in risk-benefit analysis during the regulatory process.
The direct threat of AMR to human health, in terms of mortality and morbidity, particularly in high income countries, mainly occurs in hospitals and nursing homes among the most vulnerable patients (the young, the sick and the elderly). However, research suggests that everyone carries commensal bacteria that have acquired resistance genes making this a challenge that requires a networking approach. Also, an ageing population and the increasing prevalence of conditions like obesity and diabetes – trends seen worldwide – will cause a significant increase in the number of vulnerable members of society for whom AMR causes the biggest burden in terms of human mortality and morbidity. A trans- European and trans-sector approach is crucial to the successful implementation of this Action. This network has a goal to grow with expertise on this matter, in an effort to bring together different disciplines and stakeholders, in order to be aware of new strategies and products in this fight against AMR.
AMR is tightly linked with the ‘One Health’ concept, which recognizes that human and animal health are inextricably linked by interactions through direct physical contact with farm and companion animals, the food chain, and the environment. Therefore, the only way to regulate the threat of AMR for human health is through the cooperation and multi-disciplinary collaboration of different scientific disciplines and groups within society. AMICI will contribute to this goal by bringing together stakeholders that focus specifically on the use and application of AMC (materials, performance assessment, risk-benefit analysis, and the new cleaning concept). It will enable the creation of a future perspective of the use of AMC in new cleaning and its effect on AMR.