Antimicrobial surveillance refers to efforts to monitor changes in populations of microbes to help understand evolving patterns of resistance to anti-infectives.1 It can be conducted on a global, regional, local country, or healthcare facility basis.
Why is surveillance crucial?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when pathogens change and find ways to resist the effects of anti-infectives. AMR, particularly in Gram-negative bacteria, is widely recognized as one of the biggest threats to global public health today; causing 700,000 deaths annually.2
Surveillance is a vital tool for clinicians and public health officials to slow the rise of AMR:
Providing early warning of emerging threats and helping decision-makers intervene before they escalate.
Guiding public health policy and infection prevention and control plans.
About the ATLAS program
Pfizer sponsors one of the largest AMR surveillance programs in the world – The Antimicrobial Testing Leadership and Surveillance (ATLAS) database.3 ATLAS is a fully searchable, interactive, user-friendly website and mobile application that provides free, rapid access – to anyone – to extensive data* on emerging bacterial and fungal resistance patterns and sensitivity to antibiotics. Pfizer’s ATLAS program was highlighted by the 2020 Access to Medicines Benchmark Report on AMR for the “pioneering move” of being the only company to share “not only its results, but also its raw data in the Wellcome Trust’s AMR Register, an open access platform”.4
Expanding the scope of ATLAS
We are continuously exploring ways to evolve our resources to meet the changing needs of the infectious diseases community and halt the spread of resistant pathogens.
In April 2020, we evolved the ATLAS website platform from an industry-recognized antibacterial surveillance platform to a broader antimicrobial surveillance platform, with the inclusion of antifungal data via the integration of SENTRY surveillance data. SENTRY adds data from over 15,500 fungal isolates, collected from 40 countries, making Pfizer the only company to provide public access to both antifungal and antibiotic resistance data through a single platform.5
*ATLAS represents the integration of three surveillance programs: TEST (Tigecycline evaluation Surveillance Trial), AWARE (Assessing Worldwide Antimicrobial Resistance Evaluation) and INFORM (International Network for Optimal Resistance Monitoring).
ATLAS helps fight the threat of AMR
ATLAS provides decision makers and patients with full access to real-world surveillance data on a yearly basis to assess resistance trends, enabling them to adapt stewardship and infection control and prevention programs accordingly.5
There is a need to share data from the global antibiotic surveillance studies more broadly. This will improve the understanding on resistance trends, inform appropriate antibiotic and vaccines use and encourage wider innovation in this important area of public health.