Addressing global threat of antimicrobial resistance

News Release

Taking action through new  investment in antimicrobial resistance research

May  24, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Government of Canada

The  emergence of so-called "superbugs" is one of the most significant health  threats to Canadians, and others around the world. Tackling Antimicrobial  resistance (AMR) requires action on many fronts, including the development of new  drugs to treat infections.

The  Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, today announced $1.39 million from  the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support five research teams whose  work will advance innovations in point-of-care diagnostics, with the goal of  implementing the best diagnostic tools in health care settings and the right  use of antibiotics. This funding is part of the investments the Government of  Canada has made over the past year on research to address the emergence and  spread of AMR. For example, Health Canada announced earlier this month several changes to the Food and  Drug Regulations that will better protect Canadians against the risk of  antimicrobial resistance, by better controlling access to veterinary  antimicrobial drugs for food-producing animals.

The  Government of Canada has also endorsed the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance,  and is currently working with our provincial and territorial partners to finalize  a Pan-Canadian Framework on Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use in  Canada. The Pan-Canadian Framework will guide collective action in tackling AMR  and identify opportunities for action under four pillars: surveillance,  stewardship, infection prevention and control, and research and innovation.

Quick Facts

•    AMR is one of the most serious global health threats facing the world today. With no action, it is estimated that by 2050, annual worldwide human deaths attributable to AMR could reach 10 million.
•    Canada is addressing AMR from a “One Health” lens. This involves coordinating efforts across human and animal health, and agri-food sectors, among others, to help prevent and control AMR.
•    In Canada, rates of antimicrobial resistant infections are generally stable and in some cases have been on the decline. However, even these reduced rates continue to exceed those of the early 2000s. Canada must be prepared to respond to the threat of AMR to lessen the health risks to Canadians in the face of rising rates of drug-resistant infections around the world.
•    The overuse or inappropriate use of antibiotics contributes to the development of AMR in people and animals. Examples include:
    o    giving antibiotics to people and animals when they are not needed;
    o    taking antibiotics in ways other than how they are prescribed; and
    o    self-medicating or antibiotic sharing.


“Addressing AMR requires sustained efforts across multiple sectors and organizations domestically and internationally. It is only through our collective actions, including this investment in diagnostic research, that we will make real progress in mitigating the threat of AMR. The Government of Canada is committed to ongoing collaboration with our partners and to taking action to ensure that antimicrobials will continue to be an effective tool in protecting the health of Canadians.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Associated Links

Antimicrobial resistance in animals
Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: Building on the Federal Framework for Action
Backgrounder – Point-of-Care Diagnostics in Human Health – Phase 1
Point-of-Care funding results details
Government of Canada takes action on antimicrobial resistance


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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