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MSF bio lab at MSF’s Aden hospital

Antibiotic resistance

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What happens when drugs stop working?

A true global health emergency, antibiotic resistance threatens to make simple cuts and diseases that are easy to treat deadly once again.

Bacteria, viruses, parasites and other microbes are always changing to ensure their survival. Some have adapted so well to medical treatment that drugs commonly used to prevent or kill them are no longer effective. These microbes cause drug-resistant infections. Their ability to survive medicines used against them is called antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In the case of bacterial pathogens, for which antibiotics are the most common and important drugs available for treatment, we speak of antibiotic resistance (ABR).

Quick facts

5 minutes to explain... Antibiotic resistance. A global health priority (ENG)

5 minutes to explain... Antibiotic resistance. A global health priority

5 minutes to explain- antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is set to be one of this century’s major public health challenges. Few people are aware of this issue, which is also poorly documented. A report commissioned by the British government in 2016 estimated that as many as 10 million people could die from an antibiotic resistant infection by the year 2050. In this 5 minutes to explain video, we look at the issues surrounding antibiotic resistance on a global scale, but also for MSF, and how our teams are tackling this enormous challenge in the countries we work.


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