HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ New Federal Antibiotic Resistance Action Plan Released
New Federal Antibiotic Resistance Action Plan Released

The federal government recently released, “National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 2020-2025.” The plan is based on the U.S. Government’s 2014 National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) and builds on the first National Action Plan released in 2015 by expanding evidence-based activities that have been shown to reduce antibiotic resistance, such as optimizing the use of antibiotics in human and animal health settings. The plan also focuses on collecting and using data to better understand where resistance is occurring, support the development of new diagnostics and treatment options, and advance international coordination.  The plan consists of five goals:

  1. Slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections.
  2. Strengthen national One Health surveillance efforts to combat resistance.
  3. Advance development and use of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria.
  4. Accelerate basic and applied research and development for new antibiotics, other therapeutics, and vaccines.
  5. Improve international collaboration and capacities for antibiotic-resistance prevention, surveillance, control and antibiotic research and development.

Two of the plan’s objectives include a focus on sepsis:

  • Objective 2: Engage the public and other stakeholders to develop, expand, and increase national and State education, training, and communication campaigns focused on using antibiotics responsibly, stopping the spread of antibiotic resistance, and preventing infections and life-threatening conditions like sepsis.
  • Objective 2.1: Expand the scope and reach of CDC’s awareness campaigns, including “Be Antibiotics Aware” and “Get Ahead of Sepsis.”

Goal 4 of the plan focuses on improving global health collaboration in antibiotic resistance efforts, and as such, includes a focus on multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Objective 3.5 states: Expand overseas screening of long-term visitors to the U.S. (e.g., international workers and students) from high-risk countries to prevent the importation of cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. A specific targeted action under this objective is to expand Dept of State and CDC screening in the current 5 countries to 45 countries by 2025.

The plan provides a strong framework for controlling and preventing antibiotic resistance bacteria but the key to its effectiveness, as with the last plan, is whether the Administration and Congress will provide adequate funding for implementation of the objectives and how much of a priority the issue remains for the next administration. The Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) is charged with monitoring the plan’s progress and making recommendations to implement. PACCARB’s next meeting is Jan. 13 and 14, 2021.

Last Reviewed: October 2020