COMMONS

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Evidence hearings ongoing

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial medicine to which it was originally sensitive. Resistant organisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and some parasites) are able to withstand antimicrobial medicines (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials) so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others. The development of AMR is a natural phenomenon but certain human actions accelerate the emergence and spread of AMR.

The scale of the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the case for action was set out in the Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2011, published in March 2013. The Government’s UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018 sets out actions to address the problem of AMR.

The Science and Technology Committee has agreed to hold an inquiry into antimicrobial resistance. Chair of the Committee Andrew Miller MP stated:

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most significant threats to public health today. I am pleased that Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, is taking this seriously. However, we want to find out whether the Government’s current and proposed actions will contribute enough to tackling this serious global threat.”

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    Glossary

    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.
  • 12 Mar 2014 - Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF352 KB) Published 18 Mar 2014

    Evidence given by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Sally Wellsteed, Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections Team Leader, Department of Health, and Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; George Eustice MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, Department of Health, Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, and Professor Peter Borriello, Chief Executive, Veterinary Medicines Directorate

  • 26 Feb 2014 - Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF352 KB) Published 10 Mar 2014

    Evidence given by Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust, Professor Sir John Savill, Chief Executive Officer, Medical Research Council (representing the Research Councils UK), Kush Naker, Policy and Advocacy Co-ordinator, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines UK, and Professor Sir Anthony Coates, Professor of Medical Microbiology, Antibiotic Discovery UK; Dr Louise Leong, Head of Research and Development, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, James Anderson, Director, European Partnerships, GlaxoSmithKline, Dr David Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Discuva, and Michael McIntyre, Chair, European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association.

  • 29 Jan 2014 - Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF363 KB) Published 05 Feb 2014

    Evidence given by Phil Sketchley, Chief Executive, National Office of Animal Health, John FitzGerald, Secretary General, Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance, Catherine McLaughlin, Animal Health and Welfare Adviser, National Farmers’ Union, and Cóilín Nunan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Alliance to Save our Antibiotics

  • 08 Jan 2014 - Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF377 KB) Published 13 Jan 2014

    Evidence given by Professor Anthony Kessel, Director, Public Health Strategy, Public Health England, Dr Michael Moore, National Clinical Champion Antibiotic Stewardship, Royal College of General Practitioners, Professor Alison Holmes, Director of Infection Prevention and Control, National Centre for Infection Prevention and Management, Imperial College London, and Dr Susan Hopkins, Chair, Healthcare Associated Infections Working Group, Royal College of Physicians; John Hardcastle, Chief Executive Officer, Novolytics, Dr David McIntosh, Global Scientific Affairs Senior Expert, Novartis, Professor George Lewith, Professor of Health Research, University of Southampton Medical School, and Doris-Ann Williams, Chief Executive, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association

  • 18 Dec 2013 - Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF253 KB) Published 02 Jan 2014

    Evidence given by Dr Pat Goodwin, Society of Biology, Professor Laura Piddock, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Professor John Threlfall, Society for Applied Microbiology, and Professor Sharon Peacock, Cambridge Infectious Diseases Initiative, University of Cambridge.