U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (National Action Plan)

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Published March 2015, October 2020


The National Action Planexternal icon directs federal agencies to accelerate response to antibiotic resistance by presenting coordinated, strategic actions to improve the health and well-being of all Americans across the One Health spectrum. It has pushed transformative improvements across the country that strengthen and expand the ability to respond to these threats.

This Plan is based on the U.S. government’s 2014 U.S. National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria (National Strategy), which was released alongside Executive Order 13676 and a report on combating antibiotic resistance by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

The 2020-2025 Plan also builds on the first National Action Plan released in 2015 pdf icon[PDF – 63 pages] by expanding evidence-based activities that have been shown to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance, such as increasing infection prevention and control and improving the way antibiotics are used.

Development of the 2020-2025 plan was led by HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and authored by agencies within the CARB Task Force, which is co-chaired by U.S. Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. government will report on progress toward the objectives set in the Plan.

Main Goals

The Plan takes a One Health approach, which recognizes the relationships between the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment.

The National Action Plan supports five main goals:

  • Slow the Emergence of Resistant Bacteria and Prevent the Spread of Resistant Infections
  • Strengthen National One Health Surveillance Efforts to Combat Resistance
  • Advance Development and Use of Rapid and Innovative Diagnostic Tests for Identification and Characterization of Resistant Bacteria
  • Accelerate Basic and Applied Research and Development for New Antibiotics, Other Therapeutics, and Vaccines
  • Improve International Collaboration and Capacities for Antibiotic-Resistance Prevention, Surveillance, Control and Antibiotic Research and Development

Although the main purpose is to guide U.S. government activities, the National Action Plan is also designed to guide action by public health, healthcare, and veterinary partners in a common effort to address urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant threats that affect people in the U.S. and around the world.

CDC is addressing its role in accomplishing these goals through its Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative.