AusBiotech gets behind campaign to combat the ‘silent pandemic’


Antimicrobial resistance is a ‘silent pandemic’, estimated to kill 10 million people every year from 2050, according to a new video from the International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA), which includes AusBiotech.

The video was launched as part of the United Nations World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) and AusBiotech is supporting global efforts to raise awareness of the impacts of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and encourage the biotech sector to get behind it. Increased awareness and improved best practices by the health sector and the general public all help to reduce its emergence and spread.

The theme of this year’s WAAW is 'Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together'.

“We call on all sectors to encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials and to strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR, working together collaboratively through a One Health approach,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Rising antimicrobial resistance was identified as one of nine key macro trends that would impact the biotech industry in AusBiotech’s Biotechnology Blueprint, and thus a key consideration in AusBiotech’s vision to drive and grow the Australian biotechnology ecosystem to advance the sector and improve the lives of all Australians.

AusBiotech CEO Lorraine Chiroiu said antimicrobial resistance is a global public health concern and the entire biotech sector needs to work together to find solutions to address it.

“Australia has specific strengths and capabilities in science and research related to immunity and infectious diseases, as well as some unique pathogens of concern to Australia and the neighbours in our region,” she said.

“It is important we mobilise these strengths and support global efforts to ensure it remains top of the agenda to encourage best practices to minimise its spread, and new treatments and technologies to combat it.”

Learn more about the urgent need to address AMR in the video from ICBA and SwedenBIO, ‘The Silent Pandemic’.

Learn more about what AMR means for Australia in CSIRO and AAMRNet’s recently released ‘Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Impact Report: How big is Australia’s AMR threat?’.