What is AMR?
AMR occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria become resistant to antimicrobial medicines such as antibiotics.
(Narrator) Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since the 1940s when they were first introduced.
They’ve reduced conditions like pneumonia and infections caused by staph.
Cancer treatments or surgeries like C-sections and joint replacements are common place, because antibiotics can prevent infections that could otherwise follow.
But imagine a future where antibiotics can’t keep us safe.
This is a real problem and it’s called antimicrobial resistance or AMR.
AMR happens when disease causing bad bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics used to kill them.
Taking antibiotics destroys a lot of bad bacteria; however, a few resistant bacteria can survive.
These can multiply and spread to other people.
The main cause of AMR is antibiotic use, so while antibiotics are essential to modern medicine, the more antibiotics Australians use - and we use a lot - the faster resistant bacteria develop.
Resistant infections are already causing some deaths.
In a worst-case scenario there would be no effective antibiotics left to treat infections.
The good news is that AMR can be slowed if we all work to use less antibiotics.
For a start, only take antibiotics that a doctor prescribes for your condition and follow your doctor’s directions.
Antibiotics only fight bacteria.
They'll do nothing against viruses; in fact antibiotics can give you side effects such as rash, upset stomach or diarrhoea.
You don’t want to risk these if the antibiotics won’t help, so only use antibiotics as directed.
Don’t share antibiotics and save them for another time.
Ask your doctor how long you need to take the antibiotics as you might not need the full pack.
We can also cut down on antibiotic use by preventing infections spreading in the first place.
Regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and keeping your vaccinations up to date, are simple but powerful ways to keep everyone healthy.
For more information visit amr.gov.au or speak to your doctor together we can put the brakes on AMR, keeping valuable antibiotic treatments for generations to come.
You can help reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance – find out how
For animal owners
For general practice
For aged care
For veterinary practice
For agriculture and industry
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week runs from 18 to 24 November every year with this year’s theme Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together. It’s an international initiative to increase awareness of the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines.
Australia’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy – 2020 and beyond
The Australian Government has released Australia's next national antimicrobial resistance strategy, following endorsement by the Council of Australian Governments.
Are you interested in AMR research and activities?
View the Activity and research directory to find out what is being done to minimise the threat of AMR.
You can also submit your own activity or research project related to AMR.
antibiotic prescriptions to non-hospital patients in 2015
antibiotic use compared to 28 European countries
of Australian population given at least one antibiotic in 2015