Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when a pathogen develops or acquires a mechanism(s) that prevents the antimicrobial from effectively killing or controlling pathogen growth. When pathogens do not respond to the drugs designed to kill them, we may be threatened with fatal infections that were once easily treated.
In the United States, at least 2 million people acquire serious infections with multiple drug resistant (MDR) pathogens, and 23,000 of those individuals die each year as a direct result.1 Over the last 10 years, more drug resistant infections have arisen within community settings, clearly demonstrating that the issue of antimicrobial resistance is no longer confined to healthcare facilities. By 2050, the Wellcome Trust predicts that AMR will be the number one cause of death globally, with an estimated 10 million attributable deaths per year. Considering the limited number of new antimicrobial agents in the pharmaceutical pipeline, we could be faced with challenges that far exceed the current major global illness such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.