What is Antimicrobial Resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria or other microorganisms develop the ability to resist the killing activity of antimicrobials. Resistance occurs as a result of antimicrobial overuse.
It is important to limit antimicrobial usage for situations when antibiotics have been shown effective (for example Strep throat) and not for conditions where they do not provide benefit, such as viral upper respiratory tract infections.
What is Multi-Drug Antimicrobial Resistance?
Over time some bacteria have developed resistance to several kinds or classes of antibiotics. These bacteria are referred to as MDROs or multi-drug resistant organisms. These bacteria are often more difficult to treat.
Examples of MDROs include MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), vancomycin intermediate or resistant S. aureus (VISA or VRSA), carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
What is the Nebraska HAI Program Doing to Decrease Antimicrobial Resistance?
Promoting proper use of appropriate precautions to reduce spread of MDROs in hospitals (hand washing, gowns and gloves when necessary, special cleaning or disinfection procedures)
Tracking antibiotic resistance patterns to target reduction efforts via reporting of resistant organisms
What Can I Do to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance?
Hand washing-the simplest but most effective way of reducing transmission of resistant bacteria.
Ask your prescriber if antibiotics are necessary and don't insist on antibiotics if your prescriber does not recommend them.
Don't discontinue antibiotics earlier than prescribed unless you notify your prescriber- this might allow leftover resistant bacteria the chance to thrive.
For more information about antimicrobial resistance, MDROs, and what you can do to reduce them, please visit CDC's Antimicrobial Resistance Page.
For antimicrobial resistance information for healthcare professionals, visit Nebraska DHHS Antimicrobial Resistance Information for Healthcare Professionals page.