Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial medicine to which it was previously sensitive. It develops when a microorganism mutates or acquires a resistance gene. Resistant organisms (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and helminths) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial medicines such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist and may spread to other people.

Antibiotic resistance in the European Region

Top story

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016: Encouraging health care workers and the public to become “Antibiotic Guardians”

Antibiotic resistance presents one of the biggest threats to global health and development today – and the threat is growing. This year, the world will mark the second annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week from 14 to 20 November, with a particular focus on health care workers and the vital role they play in defending the power of antibiotics.

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World Antibiotic Awareness Week

14–20 November 2016

16-22 November 2015

Key resource

Central Asian and Eastern European Surveillance on Antimicrobial Resistance (CAESAR)

A joint initiative to survey, contain and prevent the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in the European Region.

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Data and statistics

25 000

The number of people out of 400 000 who die every year in the European Region due to an infection with a resistant bacterial strain.


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