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Antimicrobial Resistance/Antibiotic Stewardship

What is Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when the medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria no longer work.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

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Antimicrobial resistance is resistance to medicine used to treat all types of infections, including bacteria, fungi and parasites. When microorganisms (i.e. bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa) develop antimicrobial resistance they are sometimes referred to as "superbugs".

When the medicines become ineffective, infections will persist in the body which increases the risk of spreading the infection to others.

What is Antimicrobial Stewardship?

Per the Infectious Diseases Society of America: "Antimicrobial stewardship refers to coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure the appropriate use of antimicrobials by promoting the selection of the optimal antimicrobial drug regimen, dose, duration of therapy, and route of administration. Antimicrobial stewards seek to achieve optimal clinical outcomes related to antimicrobial use, minimize toxicity and other adverse events, reduce the costs of health care for infections, and limit the selection for antimicrobial resistant strains."

Core Elements of Antimicrobial Stewardship

  • Leadership Commitment
  • Accountability
  • Drug Expertise
  • Key Support
  • Take Action through Policy and Practice Change to Improve Antibiotic Use
  • Tracking and Reporting Antibiotic Use and Outcomes
  • Education

Additional Resources

Antimicrobial Stewardship Training Programs

Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship Education

  • This education is offered by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
  • CIDRAP's Antimicrobial Stewardship Project provides current, accurate, and comprehensive information on the topic and works to build an online community to address leading issues.
  • Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training
  • CDC/STRIVE Infection Control Training

Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkits

Toolkits were built to facilitate the development of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

American Nurses Association's Recommendations to Optimize Antibiotic Use Among Nurses

A white paper released by the American Nurses Association (ANA) outlines how nurses can optimize antibiotic use and provide safer, better patient care.

Leaders Committed to Antibiotic Stewardship

Visit the CDC to see a summary of stewardship commitments and activities that are being implemented by leaders in the U.S.

State Antibiogram

Antimicrobial Stewardship Workgroup Meeting Minutes

Page last updated: July 25, 2023