The European Center for Disease Control and the European Food Safety Authority have joined forces to fight antimicrobial resistance. They are raising awareness, monitoring the food chain, and advising against the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in Europe. The infographic below highlights the important facts about antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance.

What are Antimicrobials?

Antimicrobials are substances that treat a wide variety of infectious diseases in humans and animals.

  • They kill micro-organisms.
  • They stop micro-organism from growing and multiplying.

Antibiotics are a commonly used antimicrobial.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of micro-organisms to resist antimicrobial therapy or treatments. The micro-organism (fungus, bacterium, virus, etc.) is then able to withstand attack by antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarials.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is common on human skin, is a type of staph bacteria that is now resistant to antibiotics.

Why is Antimicrobial Resistance Growing?

  1. Overuse of antibiotics.
  2. Misuse of antibiotics.
  3. The resistant germs are spreading.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “For years antibiotics have been prescribed for colds, flu, and other viral infections that don’t respond to these drugs. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, they contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria because they don’t destroy every germ they target. Bacteria live on an evolutionary fast track, so germs that survive treatment with one antibiotic soon learn to resist others.”

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antimicrobial

What are the Dangers of AMR?

Medical treatment is not effective, which is a serious threat to public health and welfare.

The European Commission, the EFSA, and the ECFC are working to address the problem by implementing the following:

  • Advocating the prudent use of antibiotics.
  • Banning the use of antibiotics in animal feed.
  • Developing new antimicrobials and alternative treatments.

 

What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

Featured image (CC) Global Panorama

Naomi Imatome-Yun, is a food, wellness, and lifestyle editor. Her work appears in USA Today, Yahoo, and Dining Out. She is the author of Cooking with Gochujang: Asia’s Original Hot Sauce and is a food expert for About.com. Naomi lives in Santa Monica and loves running, reading, beach volleyball, yoga, sculpture parks, and dancing around with her husband and kids.

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