U.S. Action to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

A National Priority

Antibiotic resistance is a national priority, and the U.S. government has taken ambitious steps to fight this threat. For example, it established a U.S. National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (National Strategy) and an accompanying U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (National Action Plan).

Federal agencies are working together to:

  • Respond to new and ongoing public health threats
  • Strengthen detection of resistance
  • Enhance efforts to slow the emergence and spread of resistance
  • Improve antibiotic use and reporting
  • Advance development of rapid diagnostics
  • Enhance infection control measures
  • Accelerate research on new antibiotics and antibiotic alternatives

Key U.S. Actions: 2013 to present


  • CDC released the first report to look at the burden and threats to human health posed by antibiotic resistance, titled Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013, which brought attention to the threat and prompted government and industry leaders to take immediate action


  • The White House released the National Strategy
  • The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report on combating antibiotic resistance with key recommendations
  • The president issued Executive Order 13676 directing federal agencies to implement the recommendations in the PCAST report and establishing two bodies:
    • Interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which is made up of U.S. federal government agencies tasked to implement the National Action Plan and chaired by the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Defense
    • Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB), which is made up of voting members from non-governmental agencies
  • The Global Health Security Agenda, which includes an “action package” on antibiotic resistance, was launched to advance a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats


  • The White House:
    • Hosted the Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship
    • Released a five-year National Action Plan, outlining steps for implementing the National Strategy
    • Established PACCARB
  • Congress appropriated funds to support the implementation of activities laid out in the National Action Plan


  • U.S. government participated in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance, where nations passed a resolution to combat antibiotic resistance worldwide


  • The president issued an Executive OrderExternal to continue advisory committees, including the PACCARB, reflecting the administration’s commitment to combating antibiotic resistance


  • U.S. government participated in the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, which covered topics related to antibiotic resistance
  • U.S. government launched the Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge, a year-long campaign spearheaded by CDC to encourage global organizations to make formal commitments that further the progress against resistance