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Infographic: Antibiotic Resistance The Global Threat

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World Antibiotic Awareness

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Antibiotic resistance – when bacteria change and cause antibiotics to fail – is happening RIGHT NOW, across the world
The full impact is unknown. There is no system in place to track antibiotic resistance globally
Without urgent action, many modern medicines could become obsolete, turning even common infections into deadly threats.


In the EUROPEAN UNION, antibiotic resistance causes 25,000 deaths per year and 2.5m extra hospital days[1]
In INDIA, over 58,000 babies died in one year as a result of infection with resistant bacteria usually passed on from their mothers [2]
In THAILAND, antibiotic resistance causes 38,000+ deaths per year and 3.2m hospital days [3]
In the UNITED STATES, antibiotic resistance causes 23,000+ deaths per year and >2.0m illnesses [4]


  • Over-prescribing of antibiotics
  • Patients not taking antibiotics as prescribed
  • Unnecessary antibiotics used in agriculture
  • Poor infection control in hospitals and clinics
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation practices
  • Lack of rapid laboratory tests



  1. Improve labs:
    Countries need medical labs to identify bacteria and choose the right drugs to treat them.
  2. Collect and share data:
    Countries need systems to track cases and report results globally to make better policy decisions.
  3. Use antibiotics wisely:
    To ensure antibiotics are here when we need them, they must be prescribed and taken correctly now.
  4. Take measures to prevent infections:
    Especially in healthcare settings, good infection control practices are critical to stopping spread of resistant germs.

[1] The Bacterial Challenge: Time to React. ECDC/EMEA Joint Technical Report 2009.
[2] Laxminarayan, Ramanan et al. Antibiotic Resistance: the need for global solutions, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 13 , Issue 12, 1057 - 1098
[3] Pumart et al. Health and economic impacts of antimicrobial resistance in Thailand. J Health Systems Res 2012;6:352-60.

  • Page last reviewed: November 16, 2015
  • Page last updated: November 16, 2015
  • Content source: Global Health
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