An antibiotic is a type of drug that kills or stops the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections. They are part of a larger group of drugs known as antimicrobials.
What is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance means bacteria have changed to resist the killing effects of an antibiotic. In other words, some antibiotics will no longer be able to kill certain bacteria or they will be less effective at killing them. Once bacteria become resistant, they can continue to multiply causing more harm. Antibiotic resistant bacteria and infections:
are more difficult to treat
require more toxic and expensive treatments
cause longer hospital stays
can spread from person to person making the problem worse
WHO: 'Antibiotics: Handle with Care' (Video) The World Health Organization is leading a global campaign ‘Antibiotics: Handle with care’ calling on individuals, governments, health and agriculture professionals to take action to address this urgent problem. Working together, we can ensure antibiotics are used only when necessary and as prescribed.
WHO: The Rules of Antibiotics (Video)Find out more about the history of antibiotics, their crucial role for humanity and the importance of following the rules of antibiotics to avoid antibiotic resistance.