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Social dilemma in the excess use of antimicrobials incurring antimicrobial resistance

  Assistant Professor Hiromu Ito, Professor Taro Yamamoto and Visiting Professor Jin Yoshimura of the Department of International Health and Medical Anthropology at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Associate Professor Genki Ichinose and Professor Satoru Morita of Shizuoka University, Professor Takayuki Wada of Osaka Metropolitan University, and Professor Jun Tanimoto of Kyushu University, conducted a web survey of 41,978 people in 8 countries/areas: Japan (2 panels pre- and post-COVID-19), the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil, and Russia. This survey revealed how many people recognize the social dilemma in using of antibiotics and AMR.

Inevitable dilemma

  The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) caused by the excess use of antimicrobials has come to be recognized as a global threat to public health. There is a ‘tragedy of the commons’ type social dilemma behind this excess use of antimicrobials, which should be recognized by all stakeholders. To address this global threat, we thus surveyed eight countries/areas to determine whether people recognize this dilemma and showed that although more than half of the population pays little, if any, attention to it, almost 20% recognize this social dilemma, and 15–30% of those have a positive attitude toward solving that dilemma. We suspect that increasing individual awareness of this social dilemma contributes to decreasing the frequency of AMR emergencies.


 ■Journal information 
Ito H, Wada T, Ichinose G, Tanimoto J, Yoshimura J, Yamamoto T, Morita S. Social dilemma in the excess use of antimicrobials incurring antimicrobial resistance.
Scientific Reports. 12: 21084, 2022.

▶This release is also available in Japanese.