Antimicrobial resistance AMR
- occurs when microbes such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi become resistant to medicines which are used to treat infections they cause
- is the ability of bacteria to resist antibiotics. Bacteria are not killed, and their growth is not stopped. Resistant bacteria survive exposure to the antibiotic and continue to multiply in the body, potentially causing more harm and spreading to other animals or people.
Since the introduction of antibiotics into medicine in the 1940s, they have been central to modern healthcare. Antibiotics' role has expanded from treating serious infections to preventing infections in surgical patients, protecting cancer patients and people with compromised immune system, and promoting growth and preventing disease in livestock and food animal1.
Antibiotics are life saving medicines and the cornerstone in the management of bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not work against viruses and will not reduce symptoms. Now, however, once treatable infections are becoming difficult to cure, raising costs to healthcare facilities, and patient mortality is rising. Use of antibiotics should always be weighed against their possible harmful effects. Antibiotics are today widely overused and misused in both people and animals, and often given without professional oversight. Decreasing antibiotic effectiveness has risen from being a minor problem to a broad threat.