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Home » Antimicrobial Resistance » Holistic infection management: tackling the challenge of sepsis and AMR

Dr. Ron Daniels

CEO and Founder of the UK Sepsis Trust, on behalf of the Infection Management Coalition (IMC)

This article has been funded by members of the Infection Management Coalition (Pfizer, BD, bioMérieux, Inflammatix, Pharmafilter, Roche Diagnostics and Shionogi UK. It has undergone compliance review by Pfizer Ltd.)

When considering how to better address sepsis – which already affects 250,000 people in the UK each year, with 52,000 people dying as a result, we need to consider infection management holistically.1 The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical public health concern and a major challenge in the treatment of sepsis. As more infectious pathogens become resistant to antimicrobials, more people are at risk of developing sepsis, and there are fewer opportunities for successful treatment.2 Without new antibiotics, this issue will only get worse. 

Addressing the issue of AMR, as well as improving methods for clinicians to recognise and treat sepsis, will require collaboration between healthcare professionals (HCPs), health decision makers, charities, industry, government and the general public. We can no longer afford to consider public awareness, pathogen surveillance, diagnostics, treatment options, and prescribing habits in isolation. We need to understand and address all aspects of infection management in order to make necessary, lifesaving changes.  

To achieve better outcomes for sepsis, and more broadly holistic infection management, continuous research and innovation is needed to fight new and evolving resistant infections, such as bringing in new antibiotics and increasing access to diagnostics. Diagnostics are critical to rapidly and accurately identify different pathogens of infection and inform antimicrobial usage. We must also change the way we gather and utilise data, which needs to capture every element of the patient experience. This information must be available across all healthcare settings, so that HCPs have a much better understanding of the patient no matter where they are in their journey. Furthermore, we need more accurate coding and death certifications of infections. This would lead to better identification and tracking of infection outbreaks, personalised care for patients, as well as better and more responsible antimicrobial prescribing.  

Without new antibiotics, this issue will only get worse.

The pandemic showed the world the benefits of a collaborative way of working. Implementing a holistic infection management strategy will require this same approach. With different stakeholders working in partnership, it can save on resources, improve patient experience and outcomes, as well as enable new legislation to continuously improve infection management practices.  

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Pfizer has been contracted to sponsor this activity on behalf of coalition members. 

[1] The UK Sepsis Trust. Representing the UK Sepsis Trust. Available at: Last accessed November 2022
[2] World Health Organisation. Antimicrobial Resistance. Available at: Last accessed November 2022

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