Should the Increased Awareness of the One Health Approach Brought by the COVID-19 Pandemic Be Used to Further Tackle the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance?

Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Apr 20;10(4):464. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10040464.


Several experts have expressed their concerns regarding the potential increase in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) during the COVID-19 pandemic as a consequence of the increase in antimicrobial and biocide use in humans globally. However, the impact of the pandemic on antimicrobial use (AMU) and AMR in animals has yet to be discussed and evaluated. Indeed, veterinary practices have been hugely impacted by the pandemic and its restrictive measures around the world. In this perspective, we call for more research to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on AMU and AMR in both humans and animals, as well as on the environment, in coherence with the One Health approach. In addition, we argue that the current pandemic is an opportunity to accelerate the implementation of a One Health approach to tackle the AMR crisis at the global scale. Indeed, the momentum created by the increased general awareness of both the public and decision-makers for the development and maintenance of effective drugs to treat human infections, as well as for the importance of a One Health approach to prevent the emergence of infectious diseases, should be used as a lever to implement global collaborative and sustainable solutions to the complex challenges of AMR.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antimicrobial resistance; antimicrobial use; farm animals; one health.