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How Antibiotic Resistance Spreads


Antimicrobial Resistance Worldwide

Antimicrobial resistance, and more specifically antibiotic resistance, has become a major threat to our society and continues to grow because of improper dosage and improper usage. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine and can be lifesaving drugs. However, up to 50% of the time antibiotics are not optimally prescribed, often when not needed, and with incorrect dosing or duration. The germs that contaminate food can become resistant because of the use of antibiotics in people and in food-producing animals. Because of the link between antibiotic use in food-producing animals and the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, antibiotics that are medically important to treating infections in humans should be used in food-producing animals only under veterinary oversight and only to manage and treat infectious disease, not to promote growth. The other major factor in the growth of antibiotic resistance is spread of the resistant strains of bacteria from person to person or from non-human sources in the environment, by way of germs through illnesses, unclean hands, or even unclean surfaces within a facility.

bioMérieux is an international advocate of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, occurring every November. This initiative aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, healthcare professionals and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. As a pioneer of in vitro diagnostics and a global leader in microbiology, bioMérieux offers a wide array of solutions for implementation of the main measures of the "Global Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance" published by the WHO in 2015.

Following the Mérieux family’s commitment to serving human and animal health worldwide, both aspects have always been handled within the single concept of "One Health." Browse this site to understand how antibiotic resistance can spread, as well as why it’s important for every person to identify their role in the spread of antimicrobial resistance and ways they can combat the deadly threat.

  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • My Role Matters
  • Pledge Your Role
  • Diagnostic Systems
  • Physician Education
  • Patient Education
  • News
  • Events


Key References: Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


My Role Matters Campaign Video - Watch Video >

Animated Antibiotic Awareness Videos - Watch Video >


  • Antibiotic Resistance Infographics – Download
  • Antibiotic Stewardship in Hospitals – Download
  • Antimicrobials in Agriculture and the Environment – Download