Antimicrobial consumption

Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are medicines that can kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria to cure infections in people, animals and sometimes plants. Bacteria have antibiotic resistance when specific antibiotics have lost their ability to kill or stop the growth of the bacteria. Some bacteria are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics (intrinsic or inherent resistance). A more worrying problem is when some bacteria, that are normally susceptible to antibiotics, become resistant as a result of genetic changes (acquired resistance). Resistant bacteria survive in the presence of the antibiotic and continue to multiply causing longer illness or even death. Infections caused by resistant bacteria may require more care as well as alternative and more expensive antibiotics, which may have more severe side effects. Read more in the factsheets about antimicrobial resistance