Tackling antimicrobial resistance globally

Ruth Kelly and Sally C Davies
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00865
Published online: 6 November 2017

There is an urgent need to translate high level commitments into concrete actions to protect future generations

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is where microorganisms (eg, bacteria) can alter their genetic make-up to withstand the drugs (eg, antibiotics) used to treat the infections they cause in humans and animals. The emergence and spread of AMR is complex1 (Box 1) and the underlying dynamics are not fully understood, but AMR is an inevitable biological process that has been accelerated by the inappropriate use of antibiotics in humans, animals and the environment.2-4 AMR provides bacteria with a survival advantage in many situations and enables the proliferation in humans, animals, food and the environment.1 Given that bacteria do not respect international borders, AMR can spread rapidly and undetected and is, therefore, a global concern for all.

  • Department of Health, London, United Kingdom


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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