What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?
the collective term for medicines that are used to prevent and treat infections
in humans, animals and plants. These medicines include antibiotics, antivirals,
antifungals and antiparasitics.
resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses
and parasites, are exposed to antimicrobials and undergo changes overtime, which
prevent these medicines from working effectively. As a result, these
microorganisms no longer respond to these medicines, making infections harder
to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, causing severe illness and
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Why is AMR a concern?
With new resistance mechanisms emerging and spreading globally, AMR
threatens our ability to prevent and treat an ever-increasing range of
infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. Without effective
antimicrobials for prevention and treatment of infections, medical procedures
(from transplants, disease management to surgeries) can become life-threatening.
Around the world, this has resulted in more complex treatments, longer hospital
stays, higher medical costs, severe illness and even death.
Source: World Health Organization
How does AMR spread?
naturally over time. However, it is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of
antimicrobials across the human, animal and food production sectors. Examples of
misuse include taking antibiotics for viral infections such as a cold and flu,
and using antibiotics to promote growth in healthy animals.
microorganisms are found in people, animals, food and the environment. They can
be spread from person to person, and between people, animals and/or the
environment. Improper food-handling, poor sanitary conditions and inadequate
infection control measures also encourage the spread of antimicrobial
Watch a video on AMR by the World Health Organization and click here to learn more about the Antimicrobial Resistance Coordinating Office.
Antibiotic Tales Animated Video
Watch the animated snippet from the "The Antibiotic Tales" comic by Mr Sonny Liew and Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, to learn why antimicrobials are a precious resource and ways in which you can help to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Click here to watch the video.
Protecting yourself and your loved ones
An infection occurs when microorganisms which are not usually present
invade the body. Infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms
are harder to treat as the usual antimicrobials may not work. Instead, stronger
antimicrobials must be used, which may be more expensive and may cause further resistance.
AMR places healthcare systems at risk. Without effective antimicrobials
to combat and treat infections, vital surgeries, organ transplants and
chemotherapy become more life-threatening. This could result in a small wound
injury leading to death. Take action by protecting yourself and your loved ones
against infections with these simple