What is Antimicrobial resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described AMR as an increasingly serious threat to global public health. 
Although antibiotic resistance develops naturally in bacteria, human actions can increase resistance developing and spreading. This can happen:
- When health professionals over prescribe antibiotics,
- When antibiotics are prescribed for a viral infection,
- When people don’t take antibiotics as directed e.g. don’t finish the course of antibiotics,
- Due to poor hygiene and a lack of infection prevention and control e.g. not washing hands properly
- Due to people travelling around the world, spreading resistant bacteria.
AMR in China:
Sadly, the crisis of antimicrobial resistance is worsening and has become a major public safety problem in China. To try to overcome this problem, China has issued a 2016-2020 One Health National Action Plan to Contain Antimicrobial Resistance with 14 ministries to ensure a clear multi-sectoral approach. However, it is not only humans that can have problems with AMR but farm animals too. Farm animals in northeast China are becoming more resistant to common antimicrobial drugs.
AMR in the EU:
AMR is responsible for an estimated 33,000 deaths per year in the EU and it costs the EU EUR 1.5 billion per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses. In fact, the health burden of infections due to bacteria with AMR in the EU/EEA population is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined. AMR proportions have been increasing across the EU/EEA since 2005 and currently, close to one in five infections in the EU/EEA is due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In some countries, like Romania and Greece, about 40% of infections are due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 
 World Health Organisation, Antimicrobial resistance in China, https://www.who.int/china/health-topics/antimicrobial-resistance (Consulted 01/10/2019)
 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.02240/full (Consulted 02/10/2019)
 Ibid. World Health Organisation, Antimicrobial resistance in China, https://www.who.int/china/health-topics/antimicrobial-resistance (Consulted 01/10/2019)
 Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Nature, Alarm as antimicrobial resistance surges among chickens, pigs and cattle https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02861-5 (Consulted 01/10/2019)
 European Commission, EU Action on Antimicrobial Resistance, https://ec.europa.eu/health/amr/antimicrobial-resistance_en (Consulted 01/10/2019)
 OECD, Antimicrobial Resistance Tackling the Burden in the European Union, https://www.oecd.org/health/health-systems/AMR-Tackling-the-Burden-in-the-EU-OECD-ECDC-Briefing-Note-2019.pdf (Consulted 02/10/2019)