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  • Antimicrobial Resistance

    Antibiotics, antivirals, and other antimicrobials have saved millions of lives worldwide, but these drugs are losing their effectiveness because of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance refers to microbes' natural ability to evolve genetically to counter the drugs. Some of this is inevitable, but over-prescription and improper use of antimicrobials plays a big role. Up to half of antibiotic use is unnecessary or inappropriate.

    Drug-resistant infections can strike anyone—young or old, healthy or sick, as these real life patient stories show. Treating resistant infections costs the U.S. health care system an estimated $21 billion to $34 billion annually. IDSA is working on many fronts to counter these "bad bugs" and save lives.

    IDSA Policy Priority: The 10 x '20 Initiative

    Facts about Antibiotic Resistance

    The incidence of antibiotic-resistance has been rapidly increasing. At the same time, fewer new antibiotics are being developed.

    Patient Stories

    Many patients and their families have suffered the debilitating effects of drug-resistant infections. IDSA believes it is important to tell their stories to spur the development of new treatments and to strengthen efforts to control drug resistance. If you would like to share your story, please contact Jen Morales at

    Patient Education Guides on MRSA and other HAIs

    IDSA partners with the Society for HealthCare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and others to offer free guides to educate the public about preventing seven common health care-associated infections (HAIs). Many HAIs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are drug-resistant.

    Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work

    This site from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes resources to help you learn more about appropriate antibiotic use, antibiotic resistance, and how to feel better when sick with a viral infection.

    Research Opportunities: AR Leadership Group

    Funded by NIAID, the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) is tasked with prioritizing, designing, implementing, and conducting clinical studies to address antibacterial resistance. This CID article outlines resources and opportunities for clinical research, and encourages submissions of proposals. (2014)

    Antimicrobial Stewardship: Optimization of Antibiotic Practices

    A free, online course that offers a practical approach to prescribing antibiotic therapy and development of antimicrobial stewardship taught by Dr. Stan Deresinski. Available through November 2015.

    Policy Statement on Antimicrobial Stewardship

    In a new position paper, IDSA, SHEA, and PIDS urge health care systems and policymakers to step up efforts to protect patients by preserving the effectiveness of available antibiotics through antimicrobial stewardship. (2012)

    Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing

    In June 2010, the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) published new MIC and disk diffusion interpretive criteria (i.e., breakpoints) for the Enterobacteriaceae for five cephalosporins.

    Help Win Congress’s Support for New Antibiotics

    Legislative Action Alert: We need your help urging Congress to provide a new FDA approval pathway to help companies bring to market the most urgently needed new antibiotics. Contact Congress today and support the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act.

    New Antibiotic Approval Pathway Would Address Critical Need (PDF)

    The Society’s proposed Limited Population Antibacterial Drug (LPAD) mechanism would streamline the development of antibiotics needed to treat the most serious infections.

    IDSA Policy: Antimicrobial Resistance

    IDSA is working on several fronts to counter “bad bugs” including by promoting development of new drugs, eliminating inappropriate use of antibiotics in agriculture, promoting antimicrobial stewardship programs, and strengthening the U.S. response through surveillance, prevention and control, and research efforts.

    IDSA Statement at PCAST Public Meeting on Antibiotic Resistance (PDF)

    IDSA presented comments at the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Public Meeting on Antibiotic Resistance.  IDSA is encouraged by the closer attention the federal government is paying to the public health crisis posed by antibiotic resistance, but the need for comprehensive, concrete actions is overdue.  (April 2014)

    Statement from IDSA President Barbara Murray, MD, FIDSA, on PCAST Meeting

    IDSA welcomes today’s news about the upcoming report on Antimicrobial Resistance from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

    IDSA, Pew Support Regulatory Pathway for Antibiotic Development

    IDSA and The Pew Charitable Trusts hailed increasing bipartisan support in Congress for the Antibiotic Development to Advance Treatment Act (ADAPT). (3/25/2014)

    IDSA Applauds State of the Union Pledge on Drug Resistance

    The Society reiterated its support for the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment Act and the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Act. (1/31/2014)

    Green, Gingrey: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Presents Growing Health Threat

    New legislation, the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act of 2013, would incentivize and accelerate the development of new drugs to treat drug-resistant infections, say Reps. Gene Green and Phil Gingrey writing in The Houston Chronicle. (1/17/2014)

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