What is
Antimicrobial resistance?

This short video explains the importance of researching AMR.

(2 min)

Antimicrobials are medicines that kill or slow the growth of pathogens (bacteria and fungi) that cause disease. Antibiotics are the most prescribed antimicrobial.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when pathogens, such as bacteria and fungi, no longer respond to drugs that are intended to kill them. This causes ‘treatment failure’, which is the inability of the drug to treat the cause of infection.

AMR is one of the most significant public health threats the world is currently facing. We are all vulnerable to drug-resistant infections. It is estimated that without action, by 2050 AMR will cause 10 million deaths per year globally.

If we do not control the increase of AMR, we will return to a time where many infections become untreatable, surgery becomes inherently risky and infections and injuries that are currently treatable will once again cause death.

What causes AMR?

AMR is primarily due to the inappropriate use of antimicrobials such as antibiotics in humans, as well as in animal health. Agriculture, food production and environmental use of antimicrobials also contribute to the development of AMR.

What can be done about it?

Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) refers to the responsible and careful use and management of antimicrobials that includes activities to promote and support best prescribing practice of antimicrobials. AMS programs aim to improve patient outcomes, ensure cost-effective therapy, and reduce adverse outcomes from antimicrobial use, including AMR. AMS involves us all, from the people who take the medication, to doctors and pharmacists who prescribe and dispense.

We cannot only rely on new drugs to solve the problem of AMR. It must be addressed from the perspective of prevention and needs collaboration across sectors. There is a need for innovative science, technology, engineering, and AMS to mitigate AMR now an into the future.

How will the AMR Hub help?

The AMR Hub will take on the critical and urgent challenge of AMR by bringing together molecular, genetic, and pharmaceutical scientists, diagnostic technology companies, health economists, mathematical modellers, social scientists, and epidemiologists to work with the community to develop an array of diagnostic, therapeutic, and stewardship solutions to AMR.