U.S. National Action Plan

The National Action Plan states that the United States will work domestically and internationally to prevent, detect, and control illness and death related to infections caused by antibiotic resistance.

The U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteriaexternal icon (referred to as National Action Plan, the Plan, or CARB) presents coordinated, strategic goals to accelerate the U.S. government’s response to antibiotic resistance and improve the health of all Americans. The Plan has pushed transformative improvements that strengthen and expand the response to resistance threats.

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.


The National Action Plan is organized around five goals for collaborative action by the U.S. Government, in partnership with foreign governments, individuals, and organizations. The Plan takes a One Health approach, aiming to strengthen healthcare, public health, veterinary medicine, agriculture, food safety, and research and manufacturing. CDC addresses its role through its Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative.

The five goals are:

  • 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


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation led the development of the 2020-2025 National Action Plan. It was authored by agencies within the Interagency Task Force co-chaired by U.S. HHS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Defense.

The 2020-2025 Plan builds on the first National Action Plan pdf icon[PDF – 63 pages], released in 2015, by expanding evidence-based activities that were shown to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance, such as increasing infection prevention and control and improving the way antibiotics are used. The National Action Plans implement the U.S. government’s 2014 U.S. National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria pdf icon[PDF – 37 pages] (National Strategy).

The National Strategy required cooperation from the public and private sector in the U.S., as well as partnerships with international human and animal health organizations. It was released alongside Executive Order 13676 pdf icon[PDF – 6 pages] and a report on combating antibiotic resistance pdf icon[PDF – 78 pages] by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST’s three key recommendations were to:

  • Improve tracking antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Increase the life of current antibiotics by improving use and implementing interventions
  • Increase speed to discover and develop new antibiotics and other interventions

Find more history about CDC’s key actions to combat antibiotic resistance.