Antibiotics are the first line of defense in protecting humans and animals against bacteria and other microbes. Microbes, like humans, want to survive. They can do that by mutating to adapt to their changing environment, unfavorable conditions and any threats they encounter — threats such as antibiotics.
Antimicrobial resistance — when bacteria stop responding to and become resistant to antimicrobial medications — is a global public health emergency with a substantial economic impact. Resistant bacteria, sometimes called superbugs, already claim 700,000 lives annually worldwide. If left unchecked, the death toll could reach 10 million per year by 2050, according to a recent United Nations report. The World Bank estimates associated global health care costs could increase more than $1 trillion per year by 2050.