Why is antibiotic resistance important?

Resistance to drugs used to treat infection has enormous consequences both for society and the individual. It has been recognised in the UK, European Union and in many other countries, as an important public health problem which, if not addressed, will have a major impact on how patients will be treated in the future.

Antimicrobial resistance makes infections more difficult to treat, lengthening symptoms, prolonging hospital stays in secondary care resulting in re-consultation in primary care as well as uses of further courses of antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance can result in death and increased costs for healthcare providers. By understanding the magnitude of the problem of antimicrobial resistance through high quality long term antibiotic resistance surveillance, specific problem resistances can be prioritised for action and the results of programmes of interventions to reduce antimicrobial resistance can be assessed.