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  • What are antimicrobials? Antimicrobials are agents that kill or limit the growth of micro-organisms. These include: antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitics and antivirals. Antimicrobials are not just used in human treatments but for plants and animals too.
  • What is AMR? Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes adapt (develop resistance) to no longer respond to antimicrobials, making the illnesses they cause more difficult/ impossible to treat.
  • How does AMR emerge? The misuse of antimicrobials is accelerating the emergence of AMR by increasing the rate at which microbes adapt to them. Factors such as: poor sanitation, inappropriate disposal of pharmaceutical waste and the consumption of affected animals and crops all contribute to its spread.
  • Why is AMR an environmental concern? If waste containing antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (ARB) from sewage, hospitals or farms etc enters the environment, it can spread to the wildlife and crops in the surrounding area. Because of this, resistant bacteria can be found all throughout the ecosystem- in water, soil, plants and animals, making it difficult to detect. ARB can then be passed along the food chain, from animal to animal eventually reaching humans.
  • How can we limit the spread? Prevent illness by practising good cleanly habits. Practise the responsible use of antimicrobials- only take them if prescribed and make sure to finish the full dose. Impose global legislations that limit the amount of pharmaceutical effluent that can be discharged into the environment.