World Organisation for Animal Health

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Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

International and intersectoral collaboration

Limiting the emergence of antimicrobial resistance requires a global, harmonised and intersectoral approach that enables the coordination of medical, animal health and environmental policies. Indeed, people and animals share the same bacteria, since 60% of infectious animal diseases are transmissible to humans. This is the foundation of the ‘One Health’ concept.

It is in this context that the OIE cooperates with many other international organisations, such as WHO[1], FAO[2], Codex alimentarius, the WTO[3] and, more recently, INTERPOL, all of whom are key partners in sharing information, developing recommendations and preventing the traffic in counterfeit products.

FAO/OIE/WHO Tripartite Alliance 

Since 2010, the OIE has committed itself to a Tripartite Alliance with WHO and FAO, establishing respective responsibilities for these three organisations in combating diseases that have major health and economic impacts, particularly zoonoses. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the Tripartite’s three priority issues. 

Its activities involve coordinating global strategies to tackle antimicrobial resistance in the short, mid- and long term, and providing support for their implementation at the national and regional levels

Its objectives are to:

  • ensure that antimicrobial agents maintain their efficacy
  • promote the responsible and prudent use of these agents
  • enable access to high-quality medicines for all.

FAO/OIE/WHO factsheet on the fight aganst antimicrobial resistance

Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

The OIE recently played a significant role in developing the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted in 2015 and aimed at ensuring our long-term capability to treat infectious diseases with effective and high-quality antimicrobials. The 180 Member Countries of the OIE pledged their support to this plan of action through a Resolution, unanimously adopted in May 2015.  

Within the framework of key activities which should be implemented over the next five to ten years, this Global Action Plan highlights the importance of the OIE intergovernmental standards and supports the establishment of a worldwide database on the use of antimicrobial agents in animals by the OIE.






Surveillance of bacterial resistance and the use of antimicrobial agents in animals 

In many countries today, including developed countries, antimicrobial agents are widely available, directly or indirectly, with virtually no restrictions. Of 130 countries recently assessed by the OIE, more than 110 have not yet passed relevant legislation to ensure appropriate conditions for the importation, manufacturing, distribution and use of veterinary products, including antimicrobial agents. As a result, these products circulate freely, like ordinary goods, and are often adulterated. 

Moreover, as yet there is no harmonised surveillance system for the use and circulation of antimicrobial agents in animals worldwide.  Collecting such information would enable countries to better control the quality and effectiveness of the products in use. It is in this context that the OIE has been mandated by its Member Countries to collect the missing information and establish a worldwide database to monitor the use of antimicrobial agents in animals. This database, which will eventually be linked to  the Worldwide Animal Health Information System, will make it easier to analyse and control the source of imported medicines, improving their traceability by OIE Member Countries.

Taking action against antimicrobial resistance, key component of the action plan for the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)

The OIE participates in the world Steering Committee of the GHSA, launched in 2014, as an advisor. The GHSA programme is a joint endeavour between the United States of America and more than 40 other nations, in addition to international organisations, such as WHO, the OIE and FAO. With tackling antimicrobial resistance among its primary objectives, this programme aims to accelerate progress towards a world that is better protected from infectious disease threats and to promote world health security as an international priority.

[1] World Health Organization 

[2] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

[3] World Customs Organization