World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2020

18 November 2020

Today, the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) starts, a WHO initiative that aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR is often referred to as the silent tsunami and is more relevant than ever in light of the on-going Corona pandemic.

One of the risk factors associated with COVID-19 is secondary bacterial infections, such as pneumonia. In recent studies on COVID-19 patients, secondary bacterial infections were significantly associated with worse outcomes and death despite antimicrobial therapies1.

Antimicrobial resistance is not just an existential threat; it is another global pandemic with millions of antibioticresistant infections and more than 700 000 deaths each year.

           THE LANCET, November 2020

Most bacterial pneumonias caught early enough can be safely and effectively treated with antibiotics, and broad-spectrum antibiotics are widely used in patients with COVID-19. However, antibiotic use drives the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance is not just an emerging threat, it is another global pandemic with millions of antibioticresistant infections and more than 700 000 deaths each year2. That is why it is often referred to as the silent tsunami.

The broad use of antibiotics during COVID-19 could lead to accelerated emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. COVID-19 itself is caused by a virus, not by bacteria and therefore antibiotics should not be used to prevent or treat viral infections, unless bacterial infections are also present.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to antibiotics, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of community spread disease, severe illness and death. Many factors have accelerated AMR worldwide — including overuse and misuse of antibiotics in humans, livestock and agriculture, poor access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene as well as inadequate infection prevention and control3.

Bactiguard’s infection prevention solutions are both effective and safe. They prevent infection and hence reduce the need for antibiotics. A clinical study with 853 patients, performed by Lederer et al.4, showed a 60 % decrease in antibiotic use after introducing Bactiguard coated catheters due to less infections.

Bactiguard’s non-alcoholic disinfectant Hydrocyn® aqua is also proven to be effective against the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. In addition, Hydrocyn® aqua kills bacteria, fungi and inactivates most viruses that cause infections.

Read more about Bactiguard’s infection prevention solutions
Read more about WAAW:

1. Vaillancourt M, Jorth P. The Unrecognized Threat of Secondary Bacterial Infections with COVID-19. mBio. 2020;11(4):e01806-20. Published 2020 Aug 7. doi:10.1128/mBio.01806-20
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4.  Lederer JW et al., J Wocn 2014; 41(5):1–8