The World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress 2019 was held November 7-8 in Washington, D.C. The event drew people from 40 different countries, including government officials from the U.S. and others, multi-lateral organizations, philanthropists, physicians, academics and various industry players.

The draw, of course, is a global problem—what to do about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2 million people each year are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and 23,000 people die as a result. A recent study by the UK government estimated that by 2050, as many as 10 million people could die worldwide from antibiotic-resistant infections.

The CDC is releasing a report this month on the topic, its first report in six years. And many experts are concerned the results will show that the world is not making enough progress in this area.

Greg Frank, director of Infectious Disease Policy at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and executive director of Working to Fight AMR, took time to talk to BioSpace ahead of the meeting about some of the topics that will be discussed and what those concerns are. He notes that although there are larger conferences related to infectious diseases, this one is by far the largest to focus solely on drug-resistant microbial diseases. “It is a great opportunity, particularly at the end of the year, to reassess the last year on how we are doing with these issues.”

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