Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. Consequently, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. Currently, AMR is present in every country and threatens the very core of modern medicine and the sustainability of an effective, global public health response to the enduring threat from infectious diseases.
Effective antimicrobial drugs are prerequisites for both preventive and curative measures, protecting patients from potentially fatal diseases and ensuring that complex procedures, such as surgery and chemotherapy, can be provided at low risk. Yet systematic misuse and overuse of these drugs in human medicine and food production have put every nation at risk. Without harmonized and immediate action on a global scale, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era in which common infections could once again kill.