Antimicrobial Resistance: A Growing Concern

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) evolve and become resistant to the medications previously used to treat them. This means that the treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illnesses, and death.

Why is AMR a Global Threat?

  1. Ineffective Treatments: Common infections and minor injuries that were once easily treatable can become dangerous without effective drugs.
  2. Increased Medical Costs: Resistant infections often require longer hospital stays, more complex treatments, and more expensive medications.
  3. Compromised Medical Procedures: Many medical procedures, including surgeries, chemotherapy, and organ transplants, rely on antibiotics to prevent infections. Resistance can make these procedures riskier.
  4. Global Spread: In our interconnected world, resistant bacteria can spread across borders and continents with ease.

How Does AMR Develop?

AMR develops when microbes are exposed to antimicrobials (like antibiotics) and evolve to withstand them. Factors contributing to AMR include:

  • Overuse of antibiotics: Prescribing antibiotics when they aren't necessary or using them too often.
  • Incomplete treatments: Not taking the full course of antibiotics, allowing some bacteria to survive and develop resistance.
  • Use in agriculture: Overuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming can result in resistant bacteria, which can then transfer to humans through the food chain.
  • Poor infection control: Inadequate sanitation, hygiene, or infection control in healthcare settings can facilitate the spread of resistant microbes.

What Can We Do?

  1. Rational Use of Antibiotics: Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a qualified professional and always complete the full prescription, even if you feel better.
  2. Prevention: Regular handwashing, vaccination, and safe food practices can prevent infections, reducing the need for antibiotics.
  3. Informed Public: Awareness campaigns can educate the public about the risks of antibiotic misuse.
  4. Research & Development: Investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines, and other interventions.

The Role of Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine

At the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, we are at the forefront of combating AMR. Our approach:

  • Stewardship: We emphasize the prudent use of antibiotics in both animals and humans.
  • Research: Our teams are constantly researching new ways to treat resistant infections and understanding the mechanisms behind AMR.
  • Education: We offer programs and seminars for medical professionals and the general public to understand and mitigate AMR.



Dr. Wendy Beauvais

Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Public Health

Contact Dr. Wendy Beauvais for more information


Lynn F. Guptill

Associate Professor, Small Animal Internal Medicine; Co-Section Head, Small Animal Internal Medicine

Contact Dr. Lynn F. Guptill for more information


Dr. Ahmed Hassan

Assistant Professor, Parasitology

Contact Dr. Ahmed Hassan for more information

Kenitra Hendrix

Dr. G. Kenitra Hendrix

Clinical Associate Professor Of Veterinary Diagnostic Microbiology

Contact Dr. Kenitra Hendrix for more information


Dr. Hyunwoo Lee

Research Associate Professor

Contact Dr. Hyunwoo Lee for more information

Dr. Narayanan

Dr. Sanjeev Narayanan

Professor and Head, Department of Comparative Pathobiology

Contact Dr. Narayanan  for more information

Dr. Narayanan’s research focuses on cause and spread of antimicrobial resistance in gut microflora and food borne pathogens like   E . Coli,   Enterococcus  and   Salmonella  using cattle feedlot industry as a model. His lab researches on developing new tools and practices to help reduce the use of antibiotics in food animals, which in turn affects human and environmental health through reduced spread of antibiotic resistance.  Efforts are under way to replace antibiotic usage for important cattle diseases (eg. liver abscesses) with vaccines.

Deepti Pillai

Dr. Deepti Pillai

Clinical Associate Professor, Diagnostic Microbiology

Contact Dr. Deepti Pillai for more information


Dr. Christopher Rice

Assistant Professor, Parasitology

Contact Dr. Christopher Rice for more information


Dr. Shankar Thangamani

Assistant Professor, Microbiology

Contact Dr. Shankar Thangamani for more information