Resistance to antimicrobial drugs, which is the natural process by which microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and other pathogens) develop resistance to the drugs used to fight them, is a serious problem in many respects: it threatens our ability to treat infectious diseases, increases health costs, and poses a serious risk to the progress made in global health by individuals and communities in the past decades.
When pathogens causing infections become resistant to first-line drugs, infections last longer and become more expensive to treat, with hospitalization required in many cases. The result is increased health care costs and financial pressures for families and society.
The effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs is increasingly under threat. The use and, more importantly, the misuse of these drugs are increasing antibiotic resistance and the need for alternative treatments. The number of new drugs, however, is declining, with only 3 new antibiotics receiving approval in the past 30 years.
Antibiotic resistance is, therefore, an important global public health challenge. It is a complex problem caused by many interrelated factors on which individual or isolated efforts have little impact. The threat to global health is such that if appropriate measures are not taken, we could lose control of infectious diseases and face a return to the pre-antibiotic era.
Antimicrobial resistance is a great public health concern and a major global challenge. It has been estimated to cause 700.000 deaths each year around the world.