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Médicaments sur ordonnance

What is antimicrobial resistance?


Antimicrobial resistance is the phenomenon whereby bacteria become resistant to certain antibiotics (1). Resistance is acquired in many ways: through mutation of its genes, spontaneously or through the use of antibiotics. This phenomenon is not new. In fact, several resistant bacteria were discovered on a mummy from the 11th century BC (2). However, the massive and inappropriate use of antibiotics over the last century has accelerated the development of resistant bacteria. In 2018, over 14,000 deaths were associated with resistant bacterial infections in Canada (3). 5,400 of these deaths were directly associated with antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance could become the world's leading cause of death by 2050 (more than 10 million deaths a year) (4) and is therefore a major societal issue. The development of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria represents a risk for a number of medical procedures that could become dangerous, or even impossible to carry out, due to the excessive infectious risks involved. It is therefore important to reduce the use of antibiotics in human health and in agriculture (plants and animals). It is important to act at these 2 levels, as resistant bacteria can circulate and be transmitted from one individual to another and from one species to another. In this sense, several organisms


Sources :

  1. Santé publique France (2021). Qu’est-ce que l’antibiorésistance.

  2. Santiago-Rodriguez TM, Fornaciari G, Luciani S, Dowd SE, Toranzos GA, Marota I, et al. Gut Microbiome of an 11th Century A.D. Pre-Columbian Andean Mummy. PLoS One. 30 sept 2015;10(9):e0138135.

  3. Council of Canadians Academy (2018). When Antibiotics Fail.

  4. O’Neill J. Tackling drug-resistant-nfection globally: Final report and recommendations [Internet]. Review on antimicrobial resistance; 2016 [cité 11 sept 2020]. Disponible sur:

  5. Gouvernement du Canada (2021). Rapport et publications du Programme intégré canadien de surveillance de la résistance aux antimicrobiens PICRA.

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