About this initiative

The AMR initiative aims to stop how quickly bacteria are changing to become resistant to antibiotics.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when germs (bacteria, virus, or fungus) that cause infections build up resistance to the effects of the medicines we use to treat them.

Using antibiotics increases the chance for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

This is a serious and growing problem here and around the world. Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use.

Current antibiotics are becoming less effective and we don't have new antibiotics to replace them.

If we continue to use antibiotics when we don't need them, they won't work in the future when we do need them.

What is the One Health approach?

To reduce AMR we all need to work together. A One Health approach is when we coordinate actions across human, animal and ecosystem health.

Our One Health response to AMR involves:

  • human health
  • animal health
  • agriculture
  • food
  • the environment.

What will the initiative deliver?

This initiative aims to:

  • raise public awareness about antibiotic resistance and the actions we can all take to reduce antibiotic use
  • provide support to prescribers to only prescribe antibiotics in situations where they are appropriate
  • monitor antibiotic use and resistance in Australia
  • improve infection prevention and control measures to limit the spread of antibiotic resistance
  • support research and development into better ways to deal with AMR.

Who is involved?

The Australian Government Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are leading this work. We are also engaging with other Australian Government departments to ensure a whole-of-government approach.

We continue to work closely to coordinate our response to AMR with:

  • governments
  • regulators
  • health care professionals
  • veterinary professionals
  • farmers
  • the pharmaceutical industry
  • pathology providers
  • standard setting bodies
  • researchers
  • educators
  • professional organisations
  • animal owners
  • the community.
Last updated: 
31 October 2017