How can governments fight antimicrobial resistance?

July 8, 2019

Susan Rogers Van KatwykThe development of antibiotics is one of the greatest advances in the history of medicine, but the rise of resistant microbes threatens to bring society back to the dark ages. While governments around the world scramble to develop policies to prevent antimicrobial resistance, PhD student Susan Rogers Van Katwyk has led the most comprehensive study to date on the topic. In a recent PLOS Medicine report, Rogers Van Katwyk and her colleagues reviewed 69 studies describing 17 different strategies used by governments to limit antimicrobial use. The strategies ranged from launching awareness campaigns to shaming hospitals to financially penalizing physicians and patients. Unfortunately, many of the studies used low-quality, non-randomized designs, making it difficult to draw strong conclusions. “There are a lot of interesting ideas for preventing antimicrobial resistance, but governments need to rigorously evaluate them if we’re going to make a difference,” said Rogers Van Katwyk, who is co-supervised by Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw at The Ottawa Hospital / University of Ottawa and Dr. Steven Hoffman of York University. See media release for details.

Authors: Susan Rogers Van Katwyk, Jeremy Grimshaw, Miriam Nkangu, Ranjana Nagi, Marc Mendelson, Monica Taljaard, Steven Hoffman

Core Resources: Ottawa Methods Centre

Funding: Research Council of Norway, Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Government of Ontario, Canada Research Chairs Program. All research at The Ottawa Hospital is supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion 

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

University of Ottawa: —A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

Media Contact

Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73325
Cell: 613-614-5253