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Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism to resist the action of an antimicrobial drug/agent which previously could treat the infection caused by that microorganism.

 The ability of organisms to become resistant to antimicrobials has increased in recent decades and remains a cause of public health threat locally, nationally and internationally. Almost all infectious agents, i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, have employed levels of multidrug resistance, resulting in treatment failure, prolonged illness, higher healthcare costs and increased morbidity and mortality.  All healthcare facilities are affected by the emergence and transmission of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.

Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO’s) are defined as microorganisms, predominantly bacteria, that have become resistant to one or more classes of antimicrobial agents. MDRO’s can be difficult to treat since many antibiotics won’t work to treat them.

This section of the IPC Manual with consider antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial stewardship and also look in detail at a number of MDRO’s of concern.