Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Antibiotic resistant bacteria. © Science Photo Library

Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are medicines that can kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria to cure infections in people, animals and sometimes plants. Bacteria have antibiotic resistance when specific antibiotics have lost their ability to kill or stop the growth of the bacteria. Some bacteria are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics (intrinsic or inherent resistance). A more worrying problem is when some bacteria, that are normally susceptible to antibiotics, become resistant as a result of genetic changes (acquired resistance). Resistant bacteria survive in the presence of the antibiotic and continue to multiply causing longer illness or even death. Infections caused by resistant bacteria may require more care as well as alternative and more expensive antibiotics, which may have more severe side effects. Read more in the factsheets about antimicrobial resistance

Latest outputs

Antimicrobial resistance in specific diseases

Antimicrobial resistance - Salmonellosis

Multi-drug resistant Salmonella bacteria continue to spread across Europe, show the latest data on resistance in bacteria in humans, food and animals issued by ECDC and EFSA. There’s evidence of resistance to the antimicrobial colistin in Salmonella among poultry in the EU - this last-resort drug may soon no longer be effective for treating severe human infections with Salmonella.