Antimicrobial resistance is when a microbe evolves to become more or fully resistant to antimicrobials which previously could treat it. Antimicrobials include antibiotics, which kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.
A well-known example of a bacterium that is resistant to a number of antibiotics is meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which has caused infections that are difficult to treat across the European Union (EU).
The emerging and steady increase in the occurrence of bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics has become a global public health threat due to the lack of therapeutic options to treat certain infections in humans.
Infections by multidrug-resistant bacteria are estimated to cause 25,000 deaths in the EU every year. Amtimicrobial resistance also places a tremendous burden on healthcare systems and society, with an annual cost due to healthcare expenditures and productivity losses estimated at approximately €1.5 billion in the EU.
Although the development of resistance occurs naturally when microorganisms replicate themselves erroneously or when resistant traits are exchanged between them, the use and misuse of antimicrobials accelerates the emergence of resistant strains.
The lack of new antibiotics entering the market exacerbates the problem…