In Switzerland, as elsewhere, concerned parties such as public health authorities and specialists in such areas as veterinary medicine, the food industry and agriculture, to name just a few, are alarmed by the emergence and spread of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. If this trend continues, we may soon find ourselves deprived of antibiotics able to act upon a certain number of clinically important bacteria, all the more so since pharmaceutical research gives little cause for hope that new classes of antibacterial agents are likely to be introduced in the near future. The widespread use of antibiotic selects for resistance genes in pathogenic bacteria, but also in commensal or environmental bacteria. These genes may spread to pathogenic bacteria making therapy more difficult, if not impossible. (Read more about The problem of antibiotic resistance - the situation abroad or The state of research in Switzerland.)
The NRP "Antibiotic Resistance" aims to:
|i)||Set up scientific strategies and new methods applicable to a prospective system of resistance monitoring;|
|ii)||Achieve a representative survey of the current situation concerning resistance in Switzerland, in all relevant areas (human and animal populations, animal husbandry, foodstuffs, the environment, etc.);|
|iii)||Determine the degree of mobility of resistant bacteria and resistance genes, and assess the risk for medical therapy that resistance presents in the several areas in question;|
|iv)||Boost molecular studies on bacterial resistance with a view to promoting the development of new antibiotics and new methods of in vitro detection;|
|v)||Pinpoint the social, legal, ethical and economic consequences of antibiotic resistance and of a possible modification of rulings on their use. The programme’s findings are guaranteed to have an impact on public health, agriculture, food technology, bacteriology, pharmaceutical research, the economy and society at large.|
CHF 12 million will be made available over a 5-year period in order to accomplish this multidisciplinary task.