The role of vaccines in preventing bacterial antimicrobial resistance

Nature Medicine
January 2018, Volume 24 No 1 pp1-112

The role of vaccines in preventing bacterial antimicrobial resistance
Kathrin U Jansen, Charles Knirsch & Annaliesa S Anderson
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the associated morbidity and mortality due to bacterial pathogens have been increasing globally to alarming levels. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for global action on AMR, supported worldwide by governments, health ministries and health agencies. Many potential solutions to stem AMR are being discussed and implemented. These include increases in antimicrobial stewardship, investment in research and development to design new classes of antibiotics, and reduction of antibiotic use in rearing of livestock. However, vaccines as tools to reduce AMR have historically been under-recognized in these discussions, even though their effectiveness in reducing disease and AMR is well documented. This review article seeks to highlight the value of vaccines as an additional modality to combat AMR globally, using select examples. It also will provide perspectives on how vaccines could be more effectively used in this effort.