Antibiotics underpin all of modern medicine, from routine major surgery through to caesarean sections and modern cancer therapies. These drugs have revolutionized how we practice medicine, but we are in a constant evolutionary battle to evade microbial resistance and this has become a major global public health problem. We have overused and misused these essential medicines both in the human and animal health sectors and this threatens the effectiveness of antimicrobials for future generations. We can only address the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through international collaboration across human and animal health sectors integrating social, economic and behavioural factors. Our global organizations are rising to the challenge with the recent World Health Assembly resolution on AMR and development of the Global Action plan but we must act now to avoid a return to a pre-antibiotic era.
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; global health; policy; public health.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.