Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by it.
Resistant microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (e.g., antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others.
In its global survey of the resistance problem, WHO said it found very high rates of drug-resistant E. coli bacteria, which causes problems. WHO’s report also found worrying rates of resistance in other bacteria, including common causes of pneumonia and gonorrhea.
In 2012, there were about 450 000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) has been identified in 92 countries. Resistance to earlier generation antimalarial drugs is widespread in most malaria-endemic countries.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
People can help tackle resistance by:
· using antibiotics only when they are prescribed by a certified health professional;
· completing the full treatment course, even if they feel better;
· never sharing antibiotics with others or using leftover prescriptions.