The Swiss National Science Foundation was commissioned by the Federal Council on 24 June 2015 to carry out the National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance” (NRP 72). The overall funding is CHF 20 million.
After NRP 49 “Antibiotic Resistance” in 2001-2006 NRP 72 brings together human and veterinary medical practitioners, biologists and environmental scientists to work in an interdisciplinary setting. The One Health approach is pivotal. When it comes to antibiotic resistance, the health of humans is linked very closely with the health of farm animals as well as with the environment, for instance through the transmission of resistant germs in wastewater.
NRP 72 considers three main aspects:
- Increasing knowledge about resistance development and transmission mechanisms in order to interrupt these processes;
- Development of rapid diagnostic techniques and discovery of novel antimicrobial molecules to improve the treatment of humans and animals;
- Proposal of recommendations and intervention measures for human and veterinary medical practitioners and farmers for a more targeted use of antibiotics.The projects will be conducted at universities and higher education institutions throughout Switzerland and will be completed by the end of 2021.
With the Swiss Antibiotic Resistance Strategy (StAR) adopted by the Federal Council on 18 November 2015 as part of its health policy priorities set out in “Health 2020”, Switzerland is also taking a cross-sector approach to tackling the problem of antibiotic resistance. All affected stakeholders were consulted in developing and implementing the strategy: the responsible federal offices, the cantons, and partners in the areas of human health, animal health, agriculture and the environment. StAR defines overarching objectives for human medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture and the environment, and outlines measures in eight strategic fields of activity: monitoring, prevention, appropriate use of antibiotics, resistance control, research and development, cooperation, information and education, and general conditions. The strategy’s implementation began in early 2016. Due to the great number of measures, their implementation is now being approached on an incremental basis. The responsibility for detailed planning lies with the federal offices hitherto involved and the directly affected stakeholders.