Skip to main content

Antimicrobial use and resistance

Published on 17 February 2023

We collect, monitor, analyse and interpret information on antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance in human and animal health, to reduce the threat of and risk from infections caused by micro-organisms that are resistant to antimicrobials.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms, such as bacteria, adapt the ability to survive exposure to a treatment that would normally kill them. The Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance (SONAAR) programme at ARHAI develops epidemiological evidence to inform the development of local and national interventions and initiatives in human and animal health. Inappropriate and unnecessary antibiotic use speeds up the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

A ‘One Health’ approach to antimicrobial resistance recognises that the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems are interconnected. The aim of this approach is to improve health and wellbeing. Improvements are made through the prevention of risks and the mitigation of effects of antimicrobial resistance which originate at the interface between humans, animals and their various environments.

The SONAAR work programme has been developed to align with the ambitions of the UK action plan on Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance 2019-24.