National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Year 5 Report

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria 2015 – 2020 (2015 Plan) has guided the U.S. Government’s response to combating antibiotic-resistant infections since its establishment in 2015. The U.S. Government’s Interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) has produced four previous reports on progress toward the 2015 Plan. This Year 5 Report (49 pages) presents highlights of activities achieved during the last year of the 2015 Plan and summarizes major accomplishments achieved between 2015 and 2020. In addition to the specific activities, this report discusses challenges and barriers faced in their implementation.

In recognition of the threat that antibiotic resistance poses, the U.S. Government developed the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB Strategy) in 2014. Issued concurrently, Executive Order 13676 called for the development of a National Action Plan for CARB to coordinate five years of federal action in collaboration with a broad range of partners to prevent, detect, and control illness and death related to infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The CARB Strategy and subsequent 2015 Plan established five interrelated goals, pursued through a One Health approach recognizing the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment:

Next Steps … The U.S. Government is committed to continuing the fight against antibiotic resistance. Building on the abovementioned efforts set in motion in 2015, the CARB Task Force has drawn from lessons learned since 2015 to develop a new National Action Plan to be implemented between 2020 and 2025. Maintaining the five goals established by the National Strategy for CARB, the 2020 Plan builds upon established and successful activities, addresses ongoing and emerging issues, and outlines aspirational targets (to be updated and/or added to annually) that the U.S. Government will undertake to further reduce the spread and impact of antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic stewardship. These targeted actions of the new 2020 Plan will equip the United States to continue its One Health response to antibiotic resistance threats of today and prepare for new resistance that might emerge tomorrow. The 2020 Plan also describes barriers and challenges that the CARB Task Force has proactively identified as relevant for the next five years of work, and those were considered in the development of objectives and targets. Many of the activities outlined in the 2020 Plan have become achievable because of the work accomplished over the past five years. The CARB Task Force will continue to report annually on progress toward the 2020 Plan.