- Diseases and conditions
- Antibiotic resistance
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chikungunya virus
- Hepatitis C
- HIV and AIDS
- Measles outbreaks
- Notifiable diseases
- Novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
- Rheumatic fever
- Yellow fever
- Zika virus
Antibiotic resistance is a global threat to the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases.
The discovery of antibiotic drugs to treat infections caused by bacteria has been an important development of modern medicine. (Antibiotics are ‘antimicrobial’ drugs. Other antimicrobials include antivirals that kill viruses, anti-fungals that kill fungi, as well as other antimicrobials that kill worms or any other intracellular or extracellular parasite.)
However, when exposed to antibiotic drugs, bacteria can develop resistance requiring the use of a different and sometimes more toxic and expensive treatments of infections.
Some strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria are well-established in New Zealand, occurring not only in infections treated in hospitals and medical facilities but also in the community.
Examples of antibiotic resistant bacteria
Examples of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which although comparatively rare are of concern, include:
- MRSA – methicillin/oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
- EMRSA – a strain of MRSA
- VRE – vancomycin-resistant enterococci
- ESBLs – extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (which are resistant to cephalosporins and monobactams)
- PRSP – penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Factors contributing to the prevention of development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria include prudent use of antibiotics and effective infection control practices.
In this section
- Preventing over-use of antibiotics in the community is important in slowing the development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Read more
- Factors contributing to the prevention of development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria include prudent use of antibiotics and effective infection control practices. Read more
- Guidance on what people can do to help minimise antibiotic resistance, and who is most at risk from an infection with antibiotic resistant bacteria. Read more
- The Ministry has an expert advisory group that provides technical advice regarding antibiotic resistance issues. Read more
- PHARMAC, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, and the Ministry for Primary Industries are key agencies that are involved in work relating to antibiotic resistance. Read more