Consumer & Practitioner Education

Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic has lost its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth. When bacteria are resistant, they continue to multiply in the presence of therapeutic levels of an antibiotic. The inappropriate use of antibiotics encourages development of antibiotic resistance among bacteria, which can lead to treatment complications and increased healthcare costs. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, increased selective pressure means more opportunities for bacteria to acquire resistance. This potential is magnified when antibiotics are used unnecessarily, such as to “treat” the flu or a cold (which are caused by viruses, not bacteria). 

APUA works to increase practitioner and consumer understanding about antibiotic resistance and appropriate use by serving as a comprehensive and objective source of the latest information on antimicrobial resistance, use and interventions worldwide. The following pages contain answers to critical questions as well as suggestions for preventing the spread of resistant bacteria for both consumers and practitioners:

For Consumers

For Practitioners

For Educators

  • PBS program "Rx for Survival: a Global Healthcare Challenge"
  • Multidisciplinary Program on Disease Management at Princeton University: Drug Resistance and Social Norms
  • The ‘e-Bug’ Project, a European wide antibiotic and hygiene teaching resource for junior and senior school children. The project not only reinforces an awareness of the benefits of antibiotics, but also teaches prudent antibiotic use, and how inappropriate use can have an adverse effect on an individual's good microbes and antibiotic resistance in the community.