At the end of February, PHE and the International Society for Infectious Diseases’ (ISID) Programme for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED) announced a new partnership to strengthen global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance. This new partnership was set up and funded by the International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Project.

Inadequate surveillance – along with the widespread use of antimicrobials (including their overuse in animals and humans) and gaps in infection prevention and control – hinders our efforts to treat and prevent resistant infections. 

Through the collaboration, ProMED and PHE will develop a new network called ProMED-AMR.  The network will collect information on resistance trends, newly identified cases and clusters of AMR using digital disease detection methods and non-traditional information sources in all World Health Organization regions.

Reports communicated via ProMED-AMR will be vetted, analysed, and commented upon by a global team of AMR specialists. The surveillance system will collect reports on resistant pathogens that propagate both in, and between, humans, animals and the environment and disseminate the reports electronically in near real-time to an international audience of subscribers, free of charge.  

Over the course of the next year, PHE and ISID will work together to support the global infectious disease and public health community with this new tool.

The initiative will complement the UK aid-funded Fleming Fund, which also aims to support low and medium income countries to generate, share and use antimicrobial resistance data to improve global understanding of the scale and scope of AMR.

Ebere Okereke, PHE’s Consultant in Global Public Health, who leads the International Health Regulation Strengthening project, says: 

“Effective control of AMR is a core part of our International Health Regulation Strengthening work. We are excited by this innovative partnership, to enhance our collaborative working with partners in low and medium income countries to improve global health security.”

Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, says: 

“I welcome this important collaboration. We must all work together to control the spread of resistant pathogens and preserve our supplies of effective antimicrobial agents. To do so, AMR surveillance is key. This project represents an excellent addition to the AMR surveillance portfolio of work globally and nicely complements the objectives of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund.”