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Antibiotic Resistance Spreads Internationally Across Borders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2021


Antibiotic resistance (ABR) poses an urgent public health risk. High rates of ABR have been noted in all regions of the globe by the World Health Organization. ABR develops when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics either during treatments in humans or animals or through environmental sources contaminated with antibiotic residues (Figure, Panel A). Spread beyond those administered antibiotics occurs through direct contact with the infected or colonized person or animal, through contact or ingestion of retail meat or agricultural products contaminated with ABR organisms, or through the environment. ABR bacteria spread from individuals to populations and across countries (Figure, Panel B).

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