Antibiotic resistance – where are we now?
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the action of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance severely limits the number of antibiotics available for the treatment of a number of diseases.
Before the discovery of antibiotics, thousands of people died from bacterial diseases, such as pneumonia or infection following surgery. Since antibiotics have been discovered and used, more and more bacteria, which were originally susceptible, have become resistant and developed numerous different means of fighting against antibiotics. Because resistance is increasing and few new antibiotics have been discovered and marketed in recent years, antibiotic resistance is now a major public health threat.
Without antibiotics, we could return to the “pre-antibiotic era”, when organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and other medical procedures would no longer be possible. Bacterial diseases would spread and could no longer be treated, causing death.
Only 70 years after the introduction of antibiotics, we are facing the possibility of a future without effective drugs to treat bacterial infections.
About the social media campaign
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is launching an online social media campaign: #KeepAntibioticsWorking.