Antimicrobials: Handle with care


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming an ever more prevalent and dangerous threat.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021 is an opportunity to increase awareness and encourage best practices among the general public, policy makers, farmers and producers, and animal and public health workers, to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections. Spread awareness, stop resistance! 

In coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), FAO works to raise awareness about the need to use antimicrobials more responsibly.

Learn more by reviewing some of FAO’s key materials on AMR:

JUST RELEASED: The FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021–2025. Supporting innovation and resilience in food and agriculture sectors
This new action plan sets aims to a) Reduce AMR prevalence and slow the emergence and spread of resistance across the food chain and for all food and agriculture sectors, and b) Preserve the ability to treat infections with effective and safe antimicrobials to sustain food and agriculture production.

Antimicrobial resistance and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. Guidance for United Nations country teams
The Cooperation Framework aims to establish AMR as a higher priority on the policy and development agenda; stimulate multi-stakeholder interest; and attract funding.

Responsible use of antimicrobials in beekeeping
These guidelines aim to protect not only honey bees, but also human health (e.g. reducing the risks of residues in hive products and preventing development of antimicrobial resistance) as well as the environment.

Animal nutrition strategies and options to reduce the use of antimicrobials in animal production
The strategies are intended to reduce the risk of the presence of potentially harmful substances in feed and water. General dietary measures to promote gastrointestinal tract health include the selective use of a combination of feed additives and feed ingredients.

Carryover in feed and transfer from feed to food of unavoidable and unintended residues of approved veterinary drugs
This paper suggests that carryover of veterinary drug residues in feed or transfer to food must be properly managed to avoid contaminated feed to harm animal or render food unsafe for human consumption.

Further reading

Additional resources


FAO AMR website


AMR videos –  FAO YouTube playlist



Antimicrobial resistance – the next pandemic?