Microbes, collectively, include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. For the past 70 years, antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, have been successfully used to treat patients with bacterial and infectious diseases.
Why Is the Study of Antimicrobial (Drug) Resistance a Priority for NIAID?
Over time, many infectious organisms have adapted to the drugs designed to kill them, making the products less effective. Because most bacteria, viruses, and other microbes multiply rapidly, they can quickly evolve and develop resistance to antimicrobial drugs. Overusing or misusing antimicrobial drugs can make resistance develop even faster.
How Is NIAID Addressing This Critical Topic?
To address this growing problem, NIAID is funding and conducting research on many aspects of antimicrobial (drug) resistance, including basic research on how microbes develop resistance, new and faster diagnostics, and clinical trials designed to find new vaccines and treatments effective against drug-resistant microbes.