The Question: As communication campaigns about the threat of antibiotic resistance spread through the media, awareness on the issue is rising, but many may be misled into requesting stronger antibiotics to fight off the possibility of superbugs. The public needs to be informed about the fundamental issues fueling this crisis- antibiotic use and misuse in humans and animals.
What We Found: Researchers at CDDEP and partners have published a paper on the use of an ‘antibiotic footprint’ metric that aims to reduce antibiotic use and misuse in humans, animals, and the environment in an effort to address antibiotic resistance. This tool mirrors the ‘carbon footprint’, which aims to holistically minimize carbon use in an effort to tackle climate change. In order to effectively raise awareness on antibiotic resistance, the ‘antibiotic footprint’ should be used as a mass communication tool to educate the public on antibiotic use behaviors and activities that will directly and indirectly reduce antibiotic consumption worldwide.
Why It Matters: The ‘antibiotic footprint’ tool can be used to compare antibiotic consumption rates across countries and prompt questions and concerns from policymakers as well as community members. Data visualizations will aid in presenting the true magnitude of country-level antibiotic consumption to the public, with an overall goal of addressing antibiotic resistance through a One-Health approach.