Mississippi State Department of Health

About Antibiotic Resistance


Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of antibiotics. Infections caused by resistant bacteria can be very difficult to treat. When bacteria become resistant to multiple antibiotics that are normally used to treat them, they become "Superbugs".

How Bacteria Become Resistant

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of antibiotics, allowing them to survive the effects of antibiotics designed to kill them. If antibiotics lose their effectiveness for these bacteria, then we lose the ability to treat infections and control public health threats.

Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body becomes resistant to antibiotics. Instead, it is the bacteria in the body that have become resistant to the antibiotics designed to kill them.

Why is Antibiotic Resistance Important?

Antibiotic Resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public health. Each year in the United States, more than 2.8 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant germs, and more than 35,000 people die as a direct result. Many more die from complications from antibiotic-resistant infections.

A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and salmonellosis – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.

Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality. Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.

What You Can Do

Use antibiotics appropriately:

What Physicians Can Do

Resources for Healthcare Professionals


More Information

Links referenced on this page
Treatment Recommendations for Common Complaints    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/clinicians.html
Training and Resources for Healthcare Professionals    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/training/index.html
Do You Need Antibiotics? (11x17)    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/pdfs/aaw/cdc-au-wait-room-poster-11x17-p.pdf
Do You Need Antibiotics? (18x24)    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/pdfs/aaw/cdc-au-wait-room-poster-18x24-p.pdf
A Commitment to Improving Antibiotic Use    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/pdfs/Commitment-Poster-english-11x17-P.pdf
Un compromiso para mejorar el uso de antibióticos (11x17)    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sp/pdfs/CommitmentLetter-11x17-ESP-P.pdf
Antibiotic Stewardship    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,398,726,html ok
Antibiotic Prescribing and Use    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,228,html ok
Be Antibiotics Aware    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/
Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance    https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/
Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019    https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/threats-report/2019-ar-threats-report-508.pdf

Find this page at https://msdh.ms.gov/page/14,23756,228.html

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