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International research centre for antimicrobial resistance to be established in Denmark

Denmark is taking an important first step in the process of strengthening international collaboration in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Denmark’s Health Minister Ellen Trane Nørby has signed an agreement for an international centre for interdisciplinary solutions on antimicrobial resistance to be based in Denmark. Some 400-500 people will eventually be employed there.

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to global health. Some 33,000 Europeans per year currently die from bacterial infections. WHO estimates that the global figure will amount to 10 million people by 2025, which exceeds the number of people who die from cancer every year.

International collaboration is crucial
” Antimicrobial resistance is a huge social challenge and requires international collaboration. I’m very proud, therefore, that Denmark is now home to this new research centre,” says Ellen Trane Nørby.

”Resistant bacteria knows no limits. Denmark is globally recognised for its work with antimicrobial resistance in both humans and livestock. The research centre will give us greater opportunities to attract top scientists to Denmark to work on this challenge,” says Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Elleman-Jensen.

Important recognition for agriculture
According to Martin Merrild, Chairman of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, the research centre is an important recognition of farmers’ efforts to reduce antibiotic consumption in livestock production.

See also: Pioneer of antibiotic-free breeding

”Danish agriculture has become increasingly adept at preventing and treating disease, which has greatly contributed to reducing antibiotic consumption. Sick animals, of course, receive the treatment they require.”

Widespread international backing
The agreement is based on extensive discussions with the World Bank. The research centre will provide a comprehensive perspective on research into antimicrobial resistance and provide advice to low and middle-income countries on how to combat antimicrobial resistance based on the cross-disciplinary perspective, One Health. 

The agreement takes the form of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and Food and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Following the signing of the agreement, further discussions with the World Bank and the CGIAR System Organisation will be held to establish the research centre. It will be formed through partnerships with leading Danish research institutions and other relevant organisations.