Antimicrobials are among the most important tools available to medical and veterinary professionals for curing disease and improving welfare. However, their use to combat common infections in people and animals is increasingly failing, thereby posing a major threat to global development, including food and nutrition security, and resulting in greater losses of life. The World Bank estimates that antimicrobial resistance could lead to a drop in the annual global gross domestic product by more than one trillion United States dollars annually by 2030 and a 7.5% reduction in global livestock production; investments of USD 6–8 billion annually to address this issue could mitigate this loss.
The solutions will require combining technical, institutional and policy innovations and leveraging the contributions of different sectors and different public and private actors. The antimicrobial resistance challenge will require effective partnerships to support solutions at global, national and local levels. CGIAR will mobilize international partners to support national governments and key actors in identifying, implementing and improving local and national solutions.
To tackle antimicrobial resistance challenges in low- and middle-income countries and ensure the sustainability of global food and health systems, CGIAR has launched an international antimicrobial resistance hub to channel global research and development efforts. This approach will help foster learning from past experiences, support antimicrobial resistance research excellence in the Global South and ensure a critical mass of research to find suitable and sustainable solutions.
The CGIAR antimicrobial resistance strategy builds on five pillars of research and interventions:
1. Understand knowledge, attitude, practices and incentives for antimicrobial use or reduction in use and the role of formal and informal markets. This includes distribution networks, types of products used and the way in which new antimicrobials are used, particularly those classified by the World Health Organization as critically important antibiotics.
2. Research antimicrobial resistance transmission dynamics at the human–animal–environmental interface in different agricultural systems.
3. Design and evaluate interventions and incentives to reduce and more effectively use antimicrobial in agriculture in low- and middle-income countries.
4. Support evidence-based policy dialogue for antimicrobial surveillance and antimicrobial resistance strategies.
5. Capacity development.
At present, the CGIAR partnership brings together four CGIAR Centers from International Livestock Research Institute, International Food Policy Research Institute, International Water Management Institute and WorldFish and their involvement in three CGIAR research programs: Livestock, FISH and Agriculture for Nutrition and Health.