Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2015

Antimicrobial Resistance as an Emerging Threat to National Security

Maxine Builder

January 2015

Atlantic Council


Around the world, rising rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents an emerging an increasingly significant cause for concern. As a variety of infectious pathogens develop greater resistance to antimicrobial drugs, such drugs consequently become less effective, leading not only to outcomes like longer recovery periods and extended hospital stays, but broader threats to the fabric of our societies and our globalized economy. Indeed, increasing rates of AMR, driven by misuse of antimicrobial drugs, could potentially undo many of the medical advances made over the past 70 years, eroding the global medical safety net and presenting a significant threat to national security.