Giving Compass' Take:

• Open Philanthropy Project analyzes opportunities for philanthropy to make an impact on antibiotic resistance. 

• What are the consequences of antibiotic resistance from human and animal antibiotic use? 

• Learn about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is now evolving faster than new antibiotics are being developed, with the result that antibiotic resistance is a significant and growing public health threat. The pipeline of new antibiotics is limited both because much of the “low-hanging fruit” has already been picked (i.e. antibiotics that are easy to discover have already been developed) and because antibiotics are less profitable for drug companies to develop than other drugs.

There are a variety of approaches that may be open to philanthropists aiming to confront the risks of antibiotic resistance. For instance, a philanthropist could back advocacy to the U.S. government to fund more research on new antibiotics, improve the pace of new antibiotic development by reducing the burden of evidence required for some types of use or extending the duration of intellectual property exclusivity on new antibiotics, or impose restrictions on the widespread use of antibiotics in farm animals.

Philanthropists could also fund, or support advocacy for the U.S. government to fund, research into unconventional antibacterials, such as modified plasmids, that may be able to treat antibiotic-resistant infections. Another approach would be to fund advocacy to or education of doctors and the public to encourage appropriate stewardship of antibiotic resources.

Philanthropists could also fund general public health measures that may limit the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as vaccination and good hygiene, or fund research on new antibiotics or approaches to treating antibiotic resistant pathogens.

Read the full article about antibiotic resistance at Open Philanthropy Project.