Antimicrobial Stewardship from Principles to Practice

Scientists have known for more than half a century that patients could develop resistance to the drugs used to treat them. Alexander Fleming, who is credited with creating the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928, cautioned of the impending crisis while accepting his Nobel prize in 1945: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” Since then antibiotics have proved one of the most effective interventions in human medicine. Sadly, the overuse and misuse of this precious resource have brought us to a global crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). To address this crisis nearly seven decades after Fleming’s lecture the first UN general assembly meeting on drug resistance bacteria was convened in September 2017.