Antimicrobial resistance

New antibiotics needed for 12 families of bacteria

27 February 2017 – WHO’s list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens" include bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The list is intended to guide and promote research and development of new antibiotics in an effort to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.

Children washing hands

Save the date: World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017

February 2017 - This year, World Antibiotic Awareness Week will be held from 13 to 19 November. WHO is encouraging all Member States, health partners and students, and the public to join this campaign and help raise awareness of antibiotic resistance.


Update of WHO Model List of Essential Medicines

January 2017 - The Expert Committee on the Selection & Use of Essential Medicines will revise & update the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines including Essential Medicines for Children. Applications to be considered are now available for public review and comment.

Eliminating malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion

25 November 2016 – Since 2012, countries across the Greater Mekong Subregion have reported a sharp decline in malaria cases and deaths. But the spread of antimalarial drug resistance threatens to undermine these gains. A new report from WHO offers a set of tried-and-tested approaches that can help countries countries end transmission of this deadly disease.

New WHO guidelines to support AMR prevention

15 November 2016 - WHO launches guidelines on core components of infection prevention and control programmes at the national and acute health care facility level. It aims to support countries as they develop and execute their national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) action plans, among other aspects of health system strengthening.

Global guidelines on the prevention of surgical site infection

3 November 2016 - People preparing for surgery should always have a bath or shower but not be shaved, and antibiotics should only be used to prevent infections before and during surgery, not afterwards, according to new guidelines from WHO that aim to save lives, cut costs and arrest the spread of superbugs.

At UN, global leaders commit to act on antimicrobial resistance

September 2016 - World leaders signaled an unprecedented level of attention to curb the spread of drug-resistant infections at the United Nations high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance. For the first time, Heads of State committed to taking a broad, coordinated approach to address the root causes of AMR across multiple sectors, especially human health, animal health and agriculture.

Superbugs: Why we need action now

September 2016 – A commentary on the need for concerted and immediate action to tackle antimicrobial resistance by Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.

United Nations high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance

In September 2016, there was a United Nations high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance at the General Assembly in New York. Global leaders met to commit to leading the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

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Contact information:

Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat ¦ World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland ¦ Email: