Resistance to antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics is a public health threat worldwide*. Diagnostic tests contribute to reducing the improper use of antibiotics and help ensure they remain effective. They are also a precious tool for epidemiological surveillance and prevention programs.

The crucial role of diagnostics

Diagnostic tests are able to identify the agent causing an infectious disease and to detect its potential resistance to antibiotics. Such tests contribute to the optimal use of antibiotics, used only to treat bacterial infections. Selecting the antibiotic best adapted to the targeted bacterium helps to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and therefore to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics.

Developing these high medical value tests is a priority for bioMérieux. The Company is a pioneer in the development of diagnostic tests for the identification of pathogens, the detection of their potential resistance to antibiotics, as well as antibiotic susceptibility testing to help doctors determine precisely which treatment to prescribe.

The Company also takes part in programs to educate healthcare professionals and to raise public awareness about the importance of the appropriate use of antibiotics in order to combat this threat.

Renewed support for the GLOBAL-PPS

Since its launch in 2015, bioMérieux has been supporting the Global Point Prevalence Survey (GLOBAL-PPS**), which brings a unique knowledge of antibiotic consumption and antimicrobial resistance worldwide.

Coordinated by Professor Hermann Goossens and Dr. Ann Versporten of the University of Antwerp (Belgium), this survey highlights the importance of in vitro diagnostics and the need to expand the use of diagnostic tests to improve antibiotic prescribing practices worldwide.

In 2019, the GLOBAL-PPS will include an additional module on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). It is designed to provide additional tools to help hospitals implement action plans to reduce HAIs and promote the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Ten scientific articles about the GLOBAL-PPS have been published since it was launched.

To learn more : watch our video.


Targeted initiatives in the field

CARE, a multi-partner program in China 

The China Against drug REsistance program, initiated in 2013 by the Mérieux Foundation, receives support from bioMérieux, which oversees its implementation. This program, which is based in particular on the GLOBAL-PPS, provides a standardized tool (quality indicators) to help hospitals improve their antimicrobial stewardship programs and control healthcare-associated infections in order to limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance in China. In addition to hygiene measures, the CARE program will also develop collaborative projects based on interventions such as surgical prophylaxis, the systematic review of antibiotic prescriptions after 48 hours based on the patient’s condition and the results of microbiology tests, and the use of hydroalcoholic solutions. In 2016, the first point prevalence survey was conducted in four clinical departments of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University in Zhejiang Province. In 2019, the CARE program was expanded to 9 hospitals in 8 Chinese provinces.


COMBACTE, a European network to fight against antibiotic resistance

Within the framework of projects financed by the European Commission and led by IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative), bioMérieux is a partner of the COMBACTE-CDI project (COMbatting BACTerial resistance in Europe), dedicated to Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI), which are among the most prevalent healthcare associated infections. Launched in November 2017 for a period of 3 years, it aims to better understand the epidemiology and the clinical impact of CDI in order to improve patient outcomes.


VALUE-Dx, a european consortium to demonstrate the value of diagnostic tests

Launched in April 2019, with a EUR 14 million budget over four years, VALUE-Dx project*** is coordinated by the University of Antwerp, bioMérieux and the Wellcome Trust. Through its co-leadership of the groundbreaking VALUE-Dx Project, bioMérieux is accelerating pan-European efforts to assess and quantify the medical, economic, and public health value of diagnostics for optimizing use of antibiotics and combatting AMR. Antibiotics are often over-used and unnecessarily prescribed in community care settings. The goal is to demonstrate -in the specific case of Community-Acquired Acute Respiratory Tract Infections (CA-ARTI) -the value of diagnostics as a fundamental tool to better target antibiotic prescribing. The project’s approach is to facilitate and accelerate the rigorous assessment and implementation of innovative diagnostic technologies in healthcare settings by establishing the needed infrastructure, methods, processes, and approaches. It also aims to evaluate and solve major hurdles to adopting diagnostics for acute respiratory tract infections in community care settings, including clinical education, psycho-social barriers, organizational challenges, regulatory and reimbursement issues.


PERFORM, a European project for rapid identification of bacterial infections in children

The European project PERFORM**** (Personalised Risk assessment in febrile illness to Optimise Real-life Management across the European Union) aims to improve the identification of bacterial infections and to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics, which impacts antibiotic resistance, by developing new tests to differentiate between viral and bacterial infections. The PERFORM consortium brings together 18 international organizations from 10 countries. Of the 10, bioMérieux is the only partner from industry.

In 2020, the initiative will continue through the DIAMONDS (Diagnosis and Management of Febrile Illness using RNA Personalised Molecular Signature Diagnosis).


 bioMérieux alongside international bodies 

  • Signatory to the declaration on antimicrobial resistance at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland) in 2017.
  • Took part in the launch of the AMR Industry Alliance, a consortium created to drive and measure industry progress and provide sustainable solutions to curb antimicrobial resistance. Mark Miller, bioMérieux’s Corporate Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, sits on the Alliance’s Board of Directors as a representative of the diagnostics industry.
  • Voting member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB);
  • Member of the AdvaMed (Advanced Medical Technology Association) and MedTechEurope working groups;
  • Leader of the French “Antibiorésistance” project of the Industrial and Governmental Health Strategy Committee.
  • Support of CIDRAP’s action (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – United States) in favor of the responsible use of antibiotics.

* Forecasts are alarming: by 2050, it is estimated that there will be more than 10 million AMR-related deaths annually, which represents one death every three seconds, with an associated cost of over US$100,000 billion:

** bioMérieux is the exclusive private sponsor of the Global Point Prevalence Survey. The Company funds the survey but plays no role in the study design, selection, analysis and interpretation of data nor in drafting the report. The data, which are strictly confidential, are stored anonymously at the Coordination Center of the University of Antwerp.  

*** This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 820755. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA and bioMérieux SA, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Accelerate Diagnostics S.L., Abbott Laboratories, Bio-Rad Laboratories, BD Switzerland Sàrl, and The Wellcome Trust Limited.

**** The PERFORM grant is one of the largest awarded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 health program (€18 million). Over a five-year period (2016-2021), it provides funding for the development of novel diagnostic tests to improve care for children presenting with high fever on arrival at a hospital or a health clinic.