Infections have been the major cause of mortality in human history. Only since the start of the 20th century have public health interventions and the discovery and use of antibiotics and vaccines drastically reduced the number of deaths due to infectious diseases in the developed world.
In low- and middle-income countries, however, infections remain a major cause of mortality, due to poor sanitation, and lack of access to antibiotics and vaccines. Over the last decade, treatment of infections has become increasingly difficult around the world, due to the emergence of pathogens that no longer respond to existing antimicrobial therapy. As a consequence, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now seen as a major threat to global health. If no action is taken, by the year 2050 AMR may claim 10 million deaths per year globally. Only if we act now and consider the biological, regulatory, economic, ethical and cultural factors driving infectious diseases and AMR, can we secure a future in which infections remain preventable and treatable.