Advancing Planetary Health in Australia: focus on emerging infections and antimicrobial resistance


Grant Hill-Cawthorne, Joel Negin, Tony Capon, Gwendolyn L Gilbert, Lee Nind, Michael Nunn, Patricia Ridgway, Mark Schipp, Jenny Firman, Tania C Sorrell, Ben J Marais

BMJ Global Health 2019 4(2):e001283. DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001283

With rising population numbers, anthropogenic changes to our environment and unprecedented global connectivity, the World Economic Forum ranks the spread of infectious diseases second only to water crises in terms of potential global impact. Addressing the diverse challenges to human health and well-being in the 21st century requires an overarching focus on ‘Planetary Health’, with input from all sectors of government, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and industry. To clarify and advance the Planetary Health agenda within Australia, specifically in relation to emerging infectious diseases (EID) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), national experts and key stakeholders were invited to a facilitated workshop. EID themes identified included animal reservoirs, targeted surveillance, mechanisms of emergence and the role of unrecognised human vectors (the ‘invisible man’) in the spread of infection. Themes related to AMR included antimicrobial use in production and companion animals, antimicrobial stewardship, novel treatment approaches and education of professionals, politicians and the general public. Effective infection control strategies are important in both EID and AMR. We provide an overview of key discussion points, as well as important barriers identified and solutions proposed.

Related Research Areas

  • Public health research