Antimicrobial stewardship: What it is and why it matters

Antimicrobials have tremendous therapeutic benefits in human and veterinary patients. After vaccination, antibiotics are probably the most important medical intervention of the 20th century in terms of reducing suffering and death. Of course, antimicrobials can also have significant adverse effects. And any use of antimicrobials, including appropriate therapeutic use, creates a selection pressure that can result in emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or an increase in the abundance of resistant bacteria. Adverse effects and the development of resistance reduce the potential benefits of antibiotics.

Antimicrobial stewardship is the concept of using antibiotics in a manner that maximizes their benefits, minimizes risks, and conserv...


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