Background: Development of antimicrobial resistance poses a major threat to human and animal health worldwide. Antimicrobials are frequently used in animal husbandry, making food-producing animals a widespread and important source of antimicrobial resistance. Indeed, recent evidence demonstrates that antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals poses a threat to the health of humans, animals and the environment. To address this threat, national action plans have been implemented based on a ‘One Health’ approach, which integrates actions across human and animal health sectors to combat antimicrobial resistance. Although under development, Israel has yet to publish a national action plan against antimicrobial resistance, despite alarming findings of resistant bacteria in food-producing animals in the country. Here we review several national action plans against antimicrobial resistance around the world in order to suggest approaches to develop a national action plan in Israel. Main body: We investigated worldwide national action plans against antimicrobial resistance based on a ‘One Health’ approach. We also conducted interviews with representatives of relevant Israeli ministries to understand antimicrobial resistance policy and regulatory frameworks in Israel. Finally, we present recommendations for Israel towards implementing a ‘One Health’ national action plan against antimicrobial resistance. Many countries have developed such plans, however, only a few are currently funded. Furthermore, many countries, especially in Europe, have taken action to reduce the use of antimicrobials and the spread of antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals by banning the use of antimicrobials to promote growth, reporting data on the use and sales of antimicrobials in food-producing animals, operating centralized antimicrobial resistance surveillance systems and preventing the use of antimicrobials important to human medicine to treat food-producing animals. Conclusions: Without a comprehensive and funded national action plan, the risks of antimicrobial resistance to the public health in Israel will escalate. Thus, several actions should be considered: (1) Reporting data on the use of antimicrobials in humans and animals. (2) Operating a centralized surveillance system for antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and the environment. (3) Improving awareness regarding antimicrobial resistance in the general public and in health practitioners from both human and animal sectors. (4) Composing a list of critically important antimicrobials to human medicine that’s use should be avoided in food-producing animals. (5) Enforcing best practices of antimicrobial use at the farm-level. (6) Reducing incidence of infection through farm biosecurity. (7) Supporting research and development of new antimicrobial treatments, vaccines and diagnostic tools.
- Antimicrobial resistance surveillance systems
- Growth promotors
- Health policy
- One Health
- Veterinary medicine