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Antimicrobial use and resistance

Published on 26 March 2024

ARHAI Scotland collects, monitors, analyses, and interprets information on antibiotic use (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) 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 micro-organisms, such as bacteria, adapt the ability to survive exposure to a treatment that would normally kill them. We develop epidemiological evidence to inform the development of local and national interventions and initiatives in human and animal health. Inappropriate and unnecessary AMU speeds up the development of AMR, and it is therefore vital that this programme links these areas of human and animal health.

A ‘One Health’ approach to antimicrobial resistance is an internationally established approach, that recognises that the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems are interconnected. The aim of this approach is to improve the health and wellbeing of humans and animals in Scotland. 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.

ARHAI Scotland aligns with the ambitions of the UK action plan on Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance 2019-24.