Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of an organism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) to grow in the presence of antimicrobial levels that would normally stop the growth of or kill the organism.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally in many organisms, but inappropriate use of antimicrobials accelerates the development of resistance and the spread of resistance to organisms that were previously susceptible.

Antimicrobials include all medicines that selectively kill, prevent or inhibit the growth of an organism. The most well-known antimicrobial group is antibiotics, but resistance is also a significant issue with many anti-parasitic medicines as well, particularly those used to treat gastrointestinal worms in livestock.

The issue of antimicrobial resistance poses a significant risk to both humans and animals, because infections caused by resistant organisms can be difficult or even impossible to treat.

General information

Information for veterinarians

Page Last Reviewed: 21 Oct 2019
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