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.

About AMR

Top story

Every infection prevented is an antibiotic treatment avoided

This year during World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW), the WHO European Region focuses on the key role health-care workers and policy-makers can play in preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in health-care settings through effective infection prevention and control.


Daphne Deckers: Treat antibiotics with care

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World Antibiotic Awareness Week

13–19 November 2017

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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