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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.


The Tripartite

Since 2010, the OIE has committed itself to a Tripartite Alliance with WHO and FAO. In 2017, their second strategic document was released and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was formally signed in June 2018 by the organisations to reaffirm their commitment, 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.

The Tripartite alliance agrees to collaborate on:

  • Supporting the continued implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR;
  • Engaging with countries to reinforce national and regional human health, animal health and food safety services;
  • Improving inter-agency collaboration in foresight analysis, risk assessment, preparedness building and joint responses to emerging, reemerging and neglected infectious diseases at the animal-human-ecosystems interface;
  • Addressing food safety challenges requiring a multi-sector approach in the context of reinforcing food security;
  • Promoting coordinated research and development to achieve a common understanding of the highest priority zoonotic diseases and the research and development needed to prevent, detect, and control them; and
  • Developing a Voluntary Code of Conduct to reinforce the implementation of international standards on responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials.


Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

The OIE recently played a significant role in developing the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAP), adopted in 2015 and aimed at ensuring our long-term capability to treat infectious diseases with effective and high-quality antimicrobials. The 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 GAP 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.

Monitoring and Evaluation of the Global Action Plan on AMR
To collaboratively monitor and evaluate the global GAP indicators to inform on strategic decision-making the tripartite developed the dynamic Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework to assess the progress of country governments, the Tripartite organisations and other national and international partners in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to impact change to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance.



The United Nations Secretary General Report

 The September 2016 Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (Resolution A/RES/71/3) called for the establishment of the ad-hoc Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG), in consultation with the Tripartite (FAO, OIE, WHO). The IACG’s mandate was to provide practical guidance for approaches needed to ensure sustained effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance, and to report back to the UN Secretary-General.

On 29 April 2019, the IACG Secretariat handed off the Recommendations Report to the Secretary-General of the UN. A united effort for the Tripartite, the report contains critical recommendations to combat drug-resistant infections and demanding immediate, coordinated and ambitious action to avert a potentially disastrous drug-resistance crisis. Furthermore, the OIE World Assembly of Delegates strengthened its commitment to the Tripartite at the 87th General Session by passing Resolution No. 14 to a Joint Tripartite Secretariat and AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund for rapid implementation of recommendations.


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 the 135 countries recently assessed by the OIE, many 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 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