Background: Healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is a major challenge for patient safety worldwide, and is further complicated by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) due to excessive antimicrobial use in both humans and animals. Existing infection prevention and control (IPC) networks must be strengthened and adapted to better address the global challenges presented by emerging AMR. Methods: In June 2017, 42 international experts convened in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss two key areas for strengthening the global IPC network: 1) broadening collaboration in IPC; and 2) how to bring the fields IPC and AMR control together. Results: The US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the World Health Organization (WHO) convened together with international experts to discuss collaboration and networks, demonstrating the participating organizations' commitment to close collaboration in IPC. The challenge of emerging AMR can only be addressed by strengthening this collaboration across international organisations and between public health and academia. The WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands initiative is an example of a successful collaboration between multiple global stakeholders including academia and international public health organisations; it can be used as a model. IPC-strategies are included within the four pillars to combat AMR: surveillance, IPC, antimicrobial and diagnostic stewardship, research and development. The prevention of transmission of multidrug-resistant microorganisms is a patient safety issue, and must be strengthened in the fight against AMR. Conclusions: The working group determined that international organisations should take the lead in creating new networks, which will in turn attract academia and other stakeholders to join. At the same time, they should invest in bringing existing IPC and AMR networks under one umbrella. Transmission of multidrug-resistant microorganisms in hospitals and in the community threatens the success of antimicrobial stewardship programmes, and thus, research and development in IPC should be addressed as an enhanced global priority.
- Infection prevention and control