What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.

As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.

Key Facts- WHO

  1. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
  2. AMR is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.
  3. Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised.
  4. The cost of health care for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs.
  5. Globally, 480 000 people develop multi-drug resistant TB each year, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well.


Prof. Sam Kariuki - KEMRI

Discussing Antimicrobial Resistance in Kenya

Call to Action