AMR Infographic.
Source: American Society for Microbiology

Resistance to antimicrobial agents is inevitable and irreversible, a natural consequence of bacterial cell adaptation to exposure to antimicrobials. The overuse of antimicrobial agents in medicine, production of food animals and crop protection have caused increasing resistance to those agents.

As existing antimicrobial agents decline in effectiveness, infections will be more difficult and expensive to treat and epidemics harder to control. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects the terrifying prospect of 10 million AMR-related deaths per year globally by 2050.

Key Causes of AMR:

  • Over-perscription of antimicrobials.
  • Shortened courses or incomplete compliance with antimicrobial treatment.
  • Antimicrobial overuse in livestock and fish farming.
  • Poor infection control in health care settings.
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation.
  • Limited discovery of new antimicrobials.
AMR genes are incredibly promiscuous, circulating through humans, animals, plants and the environment, and implementing a One Health approach is key to combatting the spread of resistance.


Legislative Statements

In 1994, ASM formed a Task Force on AMR to analyze and assist in making well-informed public health policy. Since then, the organization has been actively working with federal and global partners to advance legislation to combat AMR and other health threats.

Hear From Experts


In this excerpt from This Week In Microbiology (TWiM), Columbia University Professor Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D. hosts a discussion of the frightening global burden of bacterial antibiotic resistance.

Amy Mathers, M.D., an associate professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Virginia, studies how drug-resistant bacteria can reside in hospital sinks and what simple steps make hospitals safer for patients. Mathers also discusses her work on Klebsiella, a bacterial pathogen for the modern era.

EiC invites trainees, who will be the next generation of outstanding researchers in the field of AMR, to discuss pathways to work on antimicrobial resistance.

Azeem Ahmad, Ph.D. answers the most pressing questions about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and shares his perspective on how humanity can address and overcome this crisis.

Panel Discussions

Join experts in antimicrobial agents and resistance (AAR) for a discussion on the latest issues impacting the field. Each quarter, panelists will gather for a 1-hour virtual panel discussion on a predetermined topic. This quarterly panel is free for ASM members. 

Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance Discussions


Antimicrobial Resistance