|Description:||This infographic illustrates in very simple terms, “How Antibiotic Resistance Happens", in a four step process. (1) Lots of germs, with some being drug resistant. (2) Antibiotic kill bacteria causing the illness, as well as good bacteria protecting the body from infection. (3) The drug-resistant bacteria remain to grow and take over. (4) Some of the drug-resistant bacteria pass on their drug-resistance to other, non-resistant bacteria, increasing the numbers that are resistant, and causing more problems.|
Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat those infections. At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections. Many more die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.
The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed, or are not optimally effective as prescribed. Antibiotics are also commonly used in food animals to prevent, control, and treat disease, and to promote the growth of food-producing animals. The use of antibiotics for promoting growth is not necessary, and the practice should be phased out. Recent guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes a pathway toward this goal. It is difficult to directly compare the amount of drugs used in food animals with the amount used in humans, but there is evidence that more antibiotics are used in food production.