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Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

To address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, the U.S. Government released the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) in September 2014, which outlined five inter-related goals to guide Federal action:

  • Goal 1: Slow the Emergence of Resistant Bacteria and Prevent the Spread of Resistant Infections
  • Goal 2: Strengthen National One Health Surveillance Efforts to Combat Resistance
  • Goal 3: Advance Development and Use of Rapid and Innovative Diagnostic Tests for Identification and Characterization of Resistant Bacteria
  • Goal 4: Accelerate Basic and Applied Research and Development for New Antibiotics, Other Therapeutics, and Vaccines
  • Goal 5: Improve International Collaboration and Capacities for Antibiotic-resistance Prevention, Surveillance, Control and Antibiotic Research and Development.

At the same time, Executive Order 13676 established the Federal Task Force for CARB to identify actions to implement the National Strategy. In March 2015, the Task Force released the first National Action Plan for CARB, aimed at moving the nation toward the goals of the National Strategy through specific objectives, strategies, and milestones to be achieved within 1, 3, and 5 years. The Task Force issues reports on progress toward these milestones:

In 2020, the CARB Task Force released an updated National Action Plan for 2020-2025, which maintains the original 5 goals of the National Strategy and includes new objectives and targets aimed at achieving those goals. The Task Force will continue to report annually on progress toward this Plan.

The Fiscal Year 2021 Progress Report summarizes progress toward the 2020 Plan and includes highlights related to pandemic preparedness, equity, and other challenges, new and update targets for the 2020 Plan, common challenges and barriers, and progress toward targets in Fiscal Year 2021. The Task Force will continue to report annually on progress toward this Plan.

The Task Force is co-chaired by the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Agriculture (USDA), and Defense (DoD), and also includes the Departments of Interior (DoI), State (DoS), and Veterans Affairs (VA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Science Foundation, and representatives from the Executive Office of the President. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation coordinates the Task Force, prepares annual progress reports, and led the development of this document. The Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB), also established by Executive Order 13676, is composed of both Federal and non-Federal subject-matter experts in human and agricultural health. The PACCARB provides information and recommendations to the HHS Secretary regarding programs and policies to combat antibiotic resistance and to improve capabilities to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, or treat antibiotic-resistant infections.