Antimicrobial resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as "superbugs". As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.
Community Acquired Infections
Antimicrobial resistance impacts the treatment of community-acquired infections. For example, Escherichia coliurinary tract infections, and respiratory infections by Streptococcus pneumoniae or Haemophilus influenzae may not respond to antibiotics commonly used and require the use of more complex and expensive treatments.
Hospital Acquired Infections
Multiresistant pathogens cause large increases in healthcare costs due to the need of more expensive drugs and a prolonged hospital stay. They are responsible for increased morbidity and mortality of patients admitted to hospitals. These hospital-acquired infections affect most fragile patients in intensive care units; oncology and neonatology, which often result in high mortality.
Containment of resistance
The main actions that contribute to the containment of antimicrobial resistance are appropriate prescribing, community education, monitoring of resistance and health-care associated infections, and compliance with legislation on the use and dispensation of antimicrobials.