Antimicrobial resistance is a complex, multifaceted, urgent global health problem. There is increasing concern about the emergence of multidrug-resistant superbugs. These superbugs result in infections responsive to treatment with few if any currently available antimicrobial agents, reviving memories of the preantibiotic era and evoking concerns about a postantibiotic era. Use of antibiotics exerts selective pressure on pathogens as well as on commensal organisms that are part of the normal flora of humans, animals, and the environment; this favors the emergence of resistant strains and sometimes involves the food supply. Addressing this urgent threat requires implementation of a multifaceted strategy that has been articulated in the past few years; implementation will require sustained political will, investment in systems and research, and a One Health approach involving improved communication, cooperation, and collaboration among the many professional disciplines and organizations with important roles to play at the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health. Priorities include strengthened human and animal health surveillance and monitoring for resistant organisms, antimicrobial stewardship programs, infection-control programs, development and approval of new antimicrobial agents, research on innovative therapeutic approaches, development of rapid diagnostic tests and new vaccines, and educational programs that target professional groups and the public.


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