Antimicrobial resistance: What is it and why should you care?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a phenomenon in which microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve over time and no longer respond to medicines that have long treated the infections they cause. This makes infections more challenging to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.

In this 2-video, Dr. Jon Stokes shares why AMR is “an under-discussed pandemic” and how antibiotics "uphold the entirety of modern medicine". 



Download a transcript of this video.

The World Health Organization considers AMR to be one of the top ten threats to global health. It is estimated antimicrobial resistance was directly responsible for 1.27 million deaths globally in 2019 and contributed to 4.95 million deaths.(1) Estimates suggest that the annual number of deaths could increase to 10 million by 2050.(2) 

What can you do to reduce antibiotic resistance? Learn more with this infographic and additional information on the Health Canada website.



Give us your feedback on this video with this 2-question survey.

Get the latest content first. Sign up for free weekly email alerts.
Author Details


1. Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators. (2022). Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis. The Lancet; 399(10325): P629-655. DOI:

2. Drug-Resistant Infections: A Threat to Our Economic future (March 2027)


DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.