Antimicrobial Resistance

AMR stands for antimicrobial resistance, which refers to the ability of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, to resist the effects of antimicrobial drugs that were previously effective in treating infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long recognized the need for an improved and coordinated global effort to contain AMR. Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global public health threat that can lead to longer hospital stays, higher healthcare costs, and increased mortality rates from infections. It can also make it more difficult to treat infectious diseases, which can result in the spread of infections to others. Antimicrobial resistance mechanisms fall into four main categories: 

(1) limiting uptake of a drug
(2) modifying a drug target 
(3) inactivating a drug 
(4) active drug efflux

Increased use and misuse of antimicrobials and other microbial stressors, such as pollution, create appropriate conditions for microorganisms to develop resistance both in humans and the environment. Bacteria in water, soil and air for example, can acquire resistance following contact with resistant microorganisms. Human exposure to AMR in the environment can occur through contact with polluted waters, contaminated food, inhalation of fungal spores, and other pathways that contain antimicrobial resistant microorganisms. This can lead to the selection and spread of resistant microorganisms, as well as the development of new resistance mechanisms. 

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