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Rapid diagnostic tools called for at World Economic Forum to help fight antimicrobial resistant infections

On January 20, 2017, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) along with AdvaMedDx, and Becton, Dickinson and Company, announced a new commitment to optimise the use of diagnostic tools to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The new announcement highlights the link between accurate diagnosing and antibiotic resistance. Without the tools to identify the organism causing an infection, a doctor is more likely to make a misdiagnosis and wrongly prescribe an antibiotic for an infection that is viral or caused by a bacterial pathogen that does not respond to a certain drug. By increasing access to such diagnostic tests while encouraging the development of new ones, world health leaders note that we can more effectively fight and prevent the spread of AMR.

Along with the panel discussion in Davos, the event included the announcement of the third year of the Longitude Prize, which offers new seed funding to encourage innovation of diagnostic technology that quickly identifies the cause of infections. The goal of the Longitude Prize is to fight AMR by challenging researchers around the world to develop accurate, rapid, and easy-to-use diagnostic tests so that patients receive the right antibiotics for bacterial infections.
“Rapid point-of-care diagnostics are critical to the fight against antimicrobial resistant infections as they will enable more targeted prescribing and lead to a reduction in overall antibiotic use,” said Dame Sally Davies, the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officer, in a press relase. “I am delighted to see this issue being addressed through the industry commitment at the World Economic Forum. To ensure we get the best minds from every corner of the globe working on this growing public health threat, robust seed funding initiatives for innovators are essential.”

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