Antimicrobial resistance: a global crisis

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is ranked as one of the World Health Organization’s top 10 threats to global health. Its rise threatens to send the world back to an era when life-threatening infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea were incurable. And developing countries will pay the highest price. 
This Spotlight looks at some of the many facets of this complex problem, and asks ‘what are the solutions?’ What changes can be made by doctors, drugs companies, policymakers, farmers, and patients themselves, to stem this crisis?
Jayasree K. Iyer, executive director of the Access to Medicine Foundation, talks to SciDev.Net about the role of pharmaceutical companies in the battle against AMR, while Nicola Magrini, of the WHO, discusses the latest tool for medics to promote responsible antibiotic use.
We look at the scourge of drug-resistant superbugs in India’s neonatal wards, the hidden toll of multidrug-resistant TB in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the farms fueling AMR with growth-promoting antibiotics. If the drugs don’t work, what alternatives do we have and are they viable?