Leading the charge to help educate and find solutions to the antimicrobial resistance crisis is Robin Patel, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology, the Elizabeth P. and Robert E. Allen Professor of Individualized Medicine, Chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology, and Director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory. She recently served on the congressional briefing panel “Leading the Charge Against Antimicrobial Resistance: Partnering to Meet the Challenge” held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to discuss with lawmakers why we should be worried and how the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control can help in the fight against resistance.
Since the 1940's, antibiotics have saved countless lives and cured millions of infections but, unfortunately, bacteria continue to develop antibiotic resistance making it a health care concern throughout the world. According to the World Health Organization, each year, approximately 700,000 people around the world die of bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics.
Following the panel, Dr. Patel’s work was also highlighted in the Washington Times on how the challenge has become more complicated as antibiotics have been used for humans, animals, and crops. According to Dr. Patel, “We’ve taken antibiotics for granted. I can no longer count on available antibiotics to work like they did in the recent past, and it’s getting worse and worse year by year.”
Dr. Patel pointed to creating stewardship strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance by only using antibiotics when absolutely needed. Additionally, she stressed the use of developing non-antibiotic treatments as an important key approach.