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To help reduce the overuse of antibiotics, Oxford researchers today released a new, easy to use online tool – Antibiotic Footprint Calculator – that could make an important contribution in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the world’s most significant emerging threats to public health.

Drawing of a pill in a dish, with the text 'Tracing your antibiotic foorprint. How much do your medicine consumption and meat intake contribute towards your and the global antibiotic footprint? Join the effort to help the world by reducing your antibiotic foorprint.'

The world’s first readily available online tool of its kind, Antibiotic Footprint Calculator lets a user quickly estimate their antibiotic footprint: how many total mgs of antibiotics they consume per year, both directly from taking antibiotics and indirectly from eating meat from animals fed antibiotics.

Since antibiotic consumption varies significantly around the globe, the Calculator also includes per capita (average) national antibiotic consumption data from 218 countries – allowing users to compare their footprint with others and against their own — or any other — country’s average.

Among countries with open-access and official data of both human and animal consumptions available, Thailand has the highest country average at 38.56 grams/person/year –  significantly higher than countries with the lowest footprint: Estonia (5.74 grams/person/year), Netherlands (6.57 grams/person/year) and Austria (6.59 grams/person/year).

“People in low and middle-income countries may take at least two courses of oral antibiotics each year for common cold or acute diarrhea,” explained Antibiotic Footprint developer Mahidol University Asst Prof Direk Limmathurotsakul, Head of Microbiology at the Bangkok-centered Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), part of the Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Read the full story on the Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health website

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