Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

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Information and resources on the government’s plans to slow the growth of antimicrobial resistance.

The term antimicrobial includes: antibiotic, antiprotozoal, antiviral and antifungal medicines. Antimicrobial Resistance arises when the micro-organisms that cause infection survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill them or stop their growth.

Resistance is a natural biological phenomenon but is increased and accelerated by various factors such as misuse of medicines, poor infection control practices and global trade and travel.

This is a particular concern with antibiotics. Many of the medical advances in recent years, for example organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy, need antibiotics to prevent and treat the bacterial infections that can be caused by the treatment. Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high risk procedures if serious infections can’t be treated.

Strategic publications

The Department of Health, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England are leading the implementation of the UK 5 year Antimicrobial Resistance strategy.

A cross government steering group is overseeing implementation of the strategy. The group works with a range of partners across the human and animal health, research, industry and academic sectors.

For more information about the steering group and the UK AMR strategy contact:

PHE, working with their equivalent organisations in the devolved administrations, is responsible for coordinating cross government activity on the human health aspects of the AMR programme for the UK.

Inquiries about PHE’s AMR programmes should be sent to:

UK veterinary antibiotic resistance and sales surveillance is monitored by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

An independent review on antimicrobial resistance, led by Lord O’Neill, published its final report in May 2016. The report included recommendations in 10 areas to tackle AMR across the globe.

International progress to tackle AMR includes a G7 and G20 commitment to the AMR Global Action Plan and resolutions set out by:

  1. Progress report on the UK 5 year AMR strategy: 2015

    • Policy paper
  2. Antimicrobial resistance review: government response

    • Policy paper
  3. UK one health report: antibiotics use in humans and animals

    • Research and analysis
  4. Progress report on the UK 5 year AMR strategy: 2014

    • Policy paper
  5. UK AMR strategy: measuring success

    • Guidance
  6. UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018

    • Guidance
  7. Chief Medical Officer annual report 2011: volume 2

    • Independent report

Clinical or technical guidance and publications

This section includes clinical guidance, technical publications and the work of the government expert advisory groups. Other sources of clinical guidance and technical information include:

The Department of Health is advised by the Advisory committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections (ARHAI) and Defra is advised by the Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination group (DARC).

PHE coordinates UK data for the European antimicrobial resistance surveillance network (EARS-Net) which collects data on selected organisms enabling rates of antimicrobial resistance to be compared across Europe.

  1. Carbapenem resistance: implementation of an enhanced surveillance system

    • Research and analysis
  2. English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) report

    • Research and analysis
  3. Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections: annual reports

    • Guidance
  4. Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: early detection, management and control toolkit for acute trusts

    • Guidance

Resources for healthcare professionals

AMR tools and resources have been developed to help human, livestock and animal healthcare professionals to improve infection prevention and control practices and to help improve prescribing.

The AMR local indicators provides national and local information on:

  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • antibiotic prescribing
  • healthcare-associated infections (HCAI)
  • infection prevention and control (IPC)
  • antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)

The Royal College of GPs: toolkit to help clinicians and commissioners prescribing antibiotics.

NHS England: resources for healthcare providers, staff and commissioners.

NHS Choices: Information for the public, explaining AMR, when antibiotics are appropriate and how to take them can be found on .

Antibiotic resistance: What is the Veterinary Medicines Directorate doing?

  1. Antimicrobial Resistance: resource handbook

    • Guidance
  2. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): Posters

    • Promotional material
  3. Antibiotic awareness resources: toolkit for healthcare professionals in England

    • Guidance
  4. Antimicrobial stewardship: Start smart - then focus

    • Guidance
  5. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) systems map

    • Research and analysis
  6. Antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship competencies

    • Guidance

Resources for livestock professionals

A number of animal health organisations have produced guidelines and guidance on the responsible use of antibiotics.

  1. Handling of manure and slurry to reduce antibiotic resistance

    • Detailed guide
  2. LA-MRSA: information for people who work with livestock

    • Guidance
  3. Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance 2014

    • Research and analysis
  4. Responsible use of animal medicines on the farm

    • Guidance
  5. Responsible antibiotic use under the prescribing cascade

    • Detailed guide


  1. AMR: summary of the current evidence

    • Research and analysis