Education is a key element for any program dedicated to confronting antibiotic resistance and curtailing its spread. For policy makers, clear information about the extent and types of antibiotic resistance, its impact on patients and public health and its effects on the healthcare system all have a crucial role in making this complex problem understandable.(1) For patients, surveys have shown that awareness related to appropriate antibiotic use is poor (for instance, regarding the fact that unnecessary use of antibiotics can be harmful to themselves and to others).(68)
A survey across Europe (86) found that more than half of the respondents did not know that antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections (such as colds and flu). In a U.S. survey, one in four respondents said they would use antibiotics without contacting a medical professional, while 14% reported storing antibiotics at home.(87)
To fill these information gaps, educational materials whose content and message are targeted to specific audiences - clinicians, patients, healthcare administrators, public health officials, politicians and the general public – are essential.(69), (70)
bioMérieux has contributed to the distribution of the book « Resistants » from Thierry Crouzet. This medical thriller received the support of the international scientific community and aims at raising awareness on the threat of antibiotic resistance for public health worldwide.
Raising awareness about antibiotic resistance
As antibiotic resistance has always been a major concern for bioMérieux, the company makes major contributions to awareness-raising and educational activities in this field.
The “BE S.M.A.R.T.” global initiative was launched by bioMérieux in 2010 to raise antibiotic resistance awareness through different communication resources (for clinicians, microbiologists and patients).
The Company also actively contributes to international events whose goal is to increase the knowledge on consequences of antibiotic resistance, such as the European Antibiotic Awareness Days, held at the initiative of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), or the annual “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week” organized in the United States under the aegis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
bioMérieux offers a wide array of booklets for clinicians on topics such as healthcare-associated infections, environmental infection control, Clostridium difficile management, resistance to extended-spectrum beta-lactams and carbapenems, and antibiotic susceptibility testing. bioMérieux has also published a practical guide to antimicrobial stewardship, a book entitled “From antibiogram to prescription” and issues a quarterly newsletter – “BioVeterinary” - with a focus on antimicrobial resistance in animals.
An application for smartphones and tablets called “bioMérieux Resource Library” is a convenient gateway to the bioMérieux range of clinical booklets on a variety of medical conditions and diseases. The bioMENTOR App provides a wealth of information on clinically relevant and unusual microbes along with corresponding scientific references. A media library on the corporate website provides a wide range of videos on bioMérieux solutions, complemented by expert interviews regularly posted on the Company YouTube channel.
The company also produces specific education programs such as those on antibiotic susceptibility testing and the medical value of knowing the “Minimum Inhibitory Concentration” (MIC) of an antibiotic in order to ensure appropriate prescribing and dosing.
bioMérieux is collaborating with the the Fondation Mérieux, Chinese Medical Association, the Paris hospitals (APHP) in a program entitled “China Against Resistance” (“CARE”). This project aims at establishing standardized surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance, increasing the appropriateness of antibiotic use, as well as monitoring the emergence and spread of bacterial resistance in Chinese hospitals. This initiative also includes training of Chinese doctors and healthcare workers in the management of hospital-acquired infections.