April 18: Battling antimicrobial resistance focus of Innovators panel

Innovators April 18, 2018

SEATTLE, Wash – Antimicrobial resistance, a major threat to global health, marks the topic of an Innovators panel discussion 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott, hosted by Washington State University. (Livestreamed at innovators.wsu.edu)

Three scientists on the Innovators panel, from WSU’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, will speak about the epidemiological and social drivers of antimicrobial resistance and its emergence and spread.

“Drug resistance often emerges in resource-poor countries, and spreads to the U.S. and around the world via travel and trade,” stated Dr. Guy Palmer, founding director of the Allen School and WSU’s senior director for global health. “Protecting the effectiveness of antibiotics requires global action.”

The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria in the United States has led to important national efforts to curb the threat, including development of the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. However, these efforts must be accompanied by a stronger global approach.

Resistance to medically important antibiotics usually emerges in parts of the world where antibiotic use in people and food animals is common, often poorly regulated and largely untracked. Factors driving high antibiotic use include a disproportionately high burden of human infectious diseases due to poor sanitation and lack of clean water, and in livestock due to low rates of vaccination and poor biosecurity.

The Allen School’s expertise, in how the human-animal-environment interfaces contribute to emergence and spread of disease, make it a natural leader of efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance. In collaboration with strong global health organizations across Washington, WSU co-launched the Pacific Northwest Antimicrobial Resistance Coalition. The coalition is forming an integrated, one-health approach to understanding how drug resistance emerges and spreads from different global settings to U.S. hospitals.

During this year’s Innovators event, WSU celebrates the Allen School’s 10th anniversary and will present more information about the coalition and research conducted in East Africa during a panel discussion.

Palmer, Omulo, Caudell
Palmer, Omulo, Caudell (l-r)

Tina Vlasaty of the Washington Global Health Alliance will moderate the panel featuring Palmer; Sylvia Omulo, an Allen School postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology; and Mark Caudell, Allen School postdoctoral fellow and medical anthropologist.

The scientists will discuss their work identifying human and livestock practices that lead to emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria and how specific approaches can be targeted to mitigate this impact, saving African lives and preventing the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria to the U.S. and other parts of the globe.


CONTACT:       Laura Lockard, 206-861-6884, lauralockard@vetmed.wsu.edu