Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

Interestingly, if you speak to the people leading the global policy response on AMR the main theme that comes out is "we  should be prioritising actions more effectively"*. That was one of the key findings of speaking to 150+ leaders in the field for a report  (I was involved in most of these interviews; opinion is theirs, not mine independently). This holds true across sectors, and across elements of the response. I think EA could contribute a lot here, but in my experience EA has made a (sometimes conscious, sometimes implicit) choice to deprioritise AMR as a cause (with the exception of the  PAR Foundation's great work). If anyone is interested in working on AMR in an EA context, would love to chat. 

*This is a bit of a simplification of "we have a spaghetti bowl of complex, interlinked biomedical and policy challenges and all contribute and so we try and solve all of them at the same time but we have limited ressources; and this is actually a second-order problem to the first-order problem of 'we don't have good estimates on which aspect of the response we should prioritise, e.g. does use in factory farms drive 5% or 30% of the resistance burden'". But the core takeaway is prioritisation is needed in a resource-constrained environment while you're on a train that is heading off a cliff, fast.

From the paper:

"4·95 million (3·62–6·57) deaths associated with bacterial AMR in 2019, including 1·27 million (95% UI 0·911–1·71) deaths attributable to bacterial AMR."

"AMR is a leading cause of death around the world, with the highest burdens in low-resource settings."


From the editorial:

"The authors estimated disease burden for 23 pathogens and 88 pathogen– drug combinations in 204 countries and territories in 2019 on the basis of two counterfactual scenarios: one in which all drug-resistant infections were replaced by drug-susceptible infections, and one in which all drugresistant infections were replaced by no infection. Using this method, the study directly addresses the difference between burden associated with resistance, and burden attributable to resistance. Murray and colleagues estimated a median of 1·27 million (95% uncertainty interval 0·911–1·71) deaths in 2019 directly attributable to resistance, a value that is nearly the same as global HIV deaths (680 000)7 and malaria deaths (627 000)8 combined, and ranks behind only COVID-19 and tuberculosis in terms of global deaths from an infection. The study’s estimate of 4·95 million (3·62–6·57) deaths associated with bacterial AMR globally in 2019 indicates that there are substantial gains to be made from preventing infections in the first place."


According to one report antimicrobial resistance will result in more than 10 million annual deaths (300 million people will die prematurely from drug resistance over the next 35 years if antibiotic resistance is not overcome ) and cause up to $100 trillion in economic costs by 2050 (see this paper for a critique of these estimates).

there are some  papers on developing new antibiotics


Antifungal resistance might also be a very big problem, which seems more neglected (Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections: Minimizing fungal disease deaths has been estimated to reduce annual AIDS deaths below 500,000 by 2020. Fungal infections deaths in AIDS were estimated at more than 700,000 deaths (47%) annually leading up to 2020..)

More from JanB
Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities