Antimicrobial Resistance in COVID-19

The Resistance – Antimicrobial Resistance through a Covid19 lens, with Elizabeth Hermsen

While the timely use of Antibiotics for sepsis is well recognised, the rise of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a huge threat to global health.

The current pandemic has highlighted our vulnerability to infection and we are now experiencing first hand the public health and economic cost of a pandemic.

We know now what it really means to not have effective diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for an infectious pathogen.

AMR accounts for 700,000 deaths annually.

Antibiotic use is the key driver for AMR. Some use of antibiotics in COVID-19 infections is likely appropriate and some likely inappropriate, so this is where AMR comes in.

Vaccines can help in AMR by reducing the carriage and transmission of AMR pathogens and by reducing the clinical symptoms of certain infections that can result in appropriate antibiotic use.

Vaccines can specifically help reduce AMR within three categories:

  1. Vaccines against common bacterial pathogens like Haemophilus Influenzae
  2. Vaccines against specific AMR pathogens like Tuberculosis or Gonorrhea
  3. Vaccines against viruses that ma result in symptoms then prompting the inappropriate use on antibiotics and this is where a COVID-19 vaccine comes in.
The Presentation
The Podcast
The Speaker

Dr. Elizabeth Hermsen is the Head of Global Antimicrobial Stewardship at Merck & Co., Inc. and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Dr. Hermsen received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center followed by a pharmacy practice residency at The Nebraska Medical Center, a fellowship in Infectious Diseases Research at the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy, and a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. 

Following her fellowship, Dr. Hermsen developed and co-directed the antimicrobial stewardship program at The Nebraska Medical Center and subsequently joined Cubist, where she created and led the Antimicrobial Stewardship Outreach Group.  Now, in her role at Merck, she is responsible for creating and executing a strategy to advance antimicrobial stewardship through education, implementation, research, and advocacy.  She has a global scope that includes human health, animal health, and environmental sciences.


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