“Exploring the Consequences of Antimicrobial Drug Use: a 3D Approach”

Dear Colleagues and Friends

Antimicrobial (AB) resistance is in the forefront as an obstacle of public health concern. Key issues include the selection of resistant microbial strains, mechanisms for the transfer of resistance elements, bacteria-environment-host communications, and the impact of resistance elements on bacterial “fitness” and virulence. Much attention has been given to dosing strategies that minimize the selection of resistant strains and to alternative therapeutic options for treating and preventing bacterial infections. Surveillance programs help human and animal health scientists explore and understand the global consequences of our past and present usage patterns. However, it is still unclear how best to utilize the insights we have acquired, how the various intervention options relate to our evolving therapeutic needs, and if there may be “unintended consequences” that should be considered when employing the various options and approaches that are currently being explored.

Considering that AB resistance is a phenomenon that occurs in nature, how do we define “success” of a mitigation strategy? How can we, maximize the likelihood of success? What defines “success”? What have we learned through these ongoing surveillance programs, research efforts, and clinical experiences? Will the challenges facing the safe and effective treatment and control of infectious diseases affect the world’s ability to provide an affordable, abundant and healthful food supply? What new technologies for disease control and treatment can we expect in the near future? What strategies can be implemented today? These are a sample of questions that are important points for discussion.

To facilitate scientific dialogue on this topic, the theme of the 2012 meeting of Antimicrobial Agents in Veterinary Medicine (AAVM) is “Exploring The Consequences of Antimicrobial Drug Use: a 3D Approach”. This will not be “just another meeting” on antimicrobial therapy. Rather, the 2012 AAVM will combine experts from a range of disciplines and experiences to identify knowledge gaps and to stimulate the development of creative solutions to an issue impacting public health. Through lectures, question and answer sessions, and break-out discussions, we will consider the multi-factorial interaction of variables influencing the short-term and long-term ability to prevent, control and treat bacterial infections in the veterinary community. The 2012 AAVM will provide an opportunity to hear experts discuss the current state of knowledge across a variety of issues (both from the human and the veterinary perspective), explore remaining unanswered questions, and identify inconsistencies in published research.

With the goal of stimulating future discussions and developing creative solutions to this important public health issue, the expert presentations and workshop discussions from the 2012 AAVM will be captured and published in a workshop report.


Marilyn N. Martinez, USA

Stefan Soback, Israel