Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change in ways that make treatments ineffective. AMR is a major concern because drug-resistant infections can kill, spread to others, and impose huge costs on individuals and society.
A number of factors can increase the spread of resistant microorganisms. For example, antimicrobial drugs are often used unnecessarily, which increases the risk that microorganisms can become resistant, survive and multiply.
Stopping AMR requires a One Health approach - the collaboration of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally to achieve the optimal health of people, animals and the environment. The Fleming Fund is a One Health initiative to fight AMR in low and middle income countries.
The importance of data
Not enough is known about the scale and scope of AMR. We need to improve access to data on:
- the extent and trends of resistance itself
- the burden of disease associated with AMR
- trends in use of antimicrobial medicines
- the quality of antimicrobial medicines being used