On November 1st, the One Health Student Association hosted an interdisciplinary panel on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to dive deep into and promote awareness on the growing issue. Esteemed panelists included a wide range of UF faculty: Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi of the College of Medicine and UFHealth, Dr. Daniel Czyz of the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Dr. Christina Boucher of the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Dr. Subhashinie Kariyawasam of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Jason Scheffler of the Department of Animal Science. Together, the OHSA team and these panelists explored AMR through the one health perspective, interconnecting the diverse causes and impacts, examining local and global trends, and discussing specific implications and potential collaborative solutions.
Antimicrobial resistance, by WHO’s definition, is when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites adapt and strengthen over time to no longer effectively respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and diseases more likely to spread. This phenomenon is most commonly known to occur through the misuse and improper disposal of antibiotics.
However, as we have learned from the panel, antimicrobial resistance can develop and spread among animals and plants as well! Some of the other topics addressed included the different factors that contribute to the rise of AMR in other countries, alternatives to antibiotics usage in a non-human context, and potential ways to stress the urgency of this growing health concern, as well as ideas for implementations surrounding the protocols at UF.
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to lose sight of other public health crises that are arguably just as serious. By facilitating this important conversation between students, faculty, and the general community, the OHSA made this panel a huge success, supporting education, awareness, and networking. The OHSA and One Health Center are currently planning on working further with Dr. Cherabuddi and Dr. Czyz on a special extension project surrounding antibiotics disposal areas on campus.
- By Corina Dang, OHSA VP of External Relations