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Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action

July 8, 2015

Public Health Agency of Canada – Antimicrobial resistance is a serious and growing public health threat in Canada and around the world. Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action is a starting point for engagement and mobilization for action on antimicrobial resistance and use across Canada.  Canada’s actions are aligned with the World Health Assembly resolution on antimicrobial resistance, and the World Health Organization draft global action plan.

Antimicrobial Resistance

An antimicrobial, which includes antibiotics, is a compound that kills or slows the growth of a microbe. In Canada and around the world, fewer antimicrobials remain effective in preventing and controlling infection as more microbes become resistant in both human and animal settings. Modern medical and veterinary practice depends on the widespread availability of effective antimicrobials to prevent and treat infections in humans and animals. Without them, the ability to fight infectious disease is significantly reduced.

Areas of Focus and Action Items

The framework outlines three strategic areas of focus and four priority action items:

Detect and monitor trends and threats to inform strategies to reduce the risks and impacts of antimicrobial resistance

  • establish and strengthen surveillance systems

Conserve the effectiveness of existing treatments through infection prevention and control guidelines, education, awareness, and oversight

  • strengthen the promotion of appropriate use of antimicrobials
  • work with partners to strengthen the regulatory framework for veterinary medicines and medicated feeds

Create new solutions to counteract loss in antimicrobial effectiveness through research and development

  • promote innovation in the research and development of new antimicrobial drugs and alternatives, new diagnostic tests and ways to counteract the development and spread of resistance

Moving Forward

Canada is already taking action to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance domestically and internationally. Ongoing measurement of Canada’s performance in reducing antimicrobial resistance is vital and progress will be reported to Parliament annually to inform all Canadians of the challenges and progress. By continuing to work together, we can collectively achieve greater results in reducing the risks of antimicrobial resistance and protecting the health and safety of all Canadians.

To read the framework or for more information: