Antimicrobial resistance

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 poster

Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics

Start planning now for World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 13-19 November 2017. This year's theme: Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics. Antibiotics are a precious resource, so it is important to get the right advice before taking them. This not only ensures you and your family get the best treatment, responsible use of antibiotics will also help reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.


New WHO guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals

The new WHO recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals. “A lack of effective antibiotics is as serious as a security threat as a sudden and deadly disease outbreak”, says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017

Antibiotics do not treat viral infections, like colds and flu

2 November 2017 -- The rise of antibiotic resistance is leading to untreatable infections which can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Without urgent action, we are heading for a future in which infections and minor injuries could once again kill. Download animated GIFs and JPGs for social media posts on this topic.

A pharmacist holds a box of medicines to a client as other two boxes lay on the counter

New WHO report confirms world is running out of antibiotics

19 September 2017 - A new WHO report finds that very few antibiotics currently in development address the serious and growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. The report shows a lack of potential treatment options for drug-resistant tuberculosis and 12 other classes of priority pathogens identified by WHO. Tuberculosis is responsible for about 250 000 deaths a year and some of the other pathogens, such as GRAM-negatives, can kill patients in just a few days due to the lack of treatment options.

WHO/TDR /Andy Craggs
Visual of gonorrhoea virus

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea on the rise, new drugs needed

7 July 2017 – Data from 77 countries show that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea – a common sexually-transmitted infection – more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat. Some countries – particularly high-income ones, where surveillance is best – are finding cases of the infection that are untreatable by all known antibiotics. These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg, as gonorrhoea is more common in lower-income countries.


Global database for Antimicrobial Resistance Country Self-Assessment

WHO, FAO and OIE have launched the Global database for Antimicrobial Resistance Country Self-Assessment. For the first time, status of countries regarding the actions taken to implement the global action plan to address antimicrobial resistance is now available in an open access global tripartite database. All responses to the country self-assessment questionnaire sent out in 2016 can be found in the database with answers visualized through maps and in table form.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

Resources and publications

Join our online Community of Practice

Are you developing/implementing a national action plan to address antimicrobial resistance? Would you welcome an opportunity for informal peer-to-peer discussions and/or access to prompt technical advice for operational challenges? The Community of practice holds a library of resources, from many different stakeholders, on a range of topics relevant to national action plans

Time-limited discussion series Sept 2017-March 2018

The AMR NAP online Community of Practice is holding a series of time-limited discussions on the following topics from September 2017 – March 2018 and would appreciate your input to the discussions. You can also view past discussions. Register here:

Next scheduled discussion:

Resistance in disease and areas

Blood test of a newborn baby, Hospital No 9, Moscow, Russia.

Call for consultants

Call for an Agreement for Performance of Work (APW): The AMR Secretariat is seeking an individual to make recommendations on enhancing the focus on Gender, Equity and Human Rights (GER) in WHO support to Member States on implementation of the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance.

The AMR Secretariat Surveillance team is seeking applications for the production of a draft technical note on the application of molecular methods to support implementation of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) surveillance.

Social media

Contact information:

Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat ¦ World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland ¦ Email: