Antibiotics, antivirals, and other antimicrobials have saved millions of lives worldwide, but these drugs are losing their effectiveness because of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance refers to microbes' natural ability to evolve genetically to counter the drugs. Some of this is inevitable, but over-prescription and improper use of antimicrobials plays a big role. Up to half of antibiotic use is unnecessary or inappropriate.
Drug-resistant infections can strike anyone—young or old, healthy or sick, as these real life patient stories show. Treating resistant infections costs the U.S. health care system an estimated $21 billion to $34 billion annually. IDSA is working on many fronts to counter these "bad bugs" and save lives.
Faces of Antimicrobial Resistance: The Human Cost of Antimicrobial Resistance
Many patients and their families have suffered the debilitating effects of antibiotic-resistant infections, and more and more patients are losing their lives due to these infections. These compelling and heart-wrenching stories engender a strong sense of urgency to address drug-resistant infections and the lack of new antibiotic development.
IDSA Information Sheet on Antimicrobial Resistance (PDF)
General information on the threat antimicrobial resistance poses to the United States.
IDSA Shares New Drug Shortages Survey Data on Anti-Infective Drugs with Congressional Leaders (PDF)
IDSA shared new data from a 2016 Emerging Infections Network (EIN) survey on anti-infective drug shortages with leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee.
IDSA Urges Congress to Approve Antibiotic and Workforce Provisions in Cures Act (PDF)
As the House prepared to vote on a new version of the 21st Century Cures Act, IDSA wrote in support and highlighted the provisions addressing antibiotic R&D, the future research workforce, and the opioid epidemic as essential.
Antimicrobial Stewardship: Optimization of Antibiotic PracticesExternal Link
A free, online course that offers a practical approach to prescribing antibiotic therapy and development of antimicrobial stewardship taught by Dr. Stan Deresinski. Available through November 2015.
Research Opportunities: AR Leadership GroupExternal Link
Funded by NIAID, the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) is tasked with prioritizing, designing, implementing, and conducting clinical studies to address antibacterial resistance. This CID article outlines resources and opportunities for clinical research, and encourages submissions of proposals. (2014)
Policy Statement on Antimicrobial StewardshipExternal Link
In a new position paper, IDSA, SHEA, and PIDS urge health care systems and policymakers to step up efforts to protect patients by preserving the effectiveness of available antibiotics through antimicrobial stewardship.
Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing
In June 2010, the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) published new MIC and disk diffusion interpretive criteria (i.e., breakpoints) for the Enterobacteriaceae for five cephalosporins.
IDSA Practice Guidelines on MRSAExternal Link
These guidelines on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) discuss the management of a variety of clinical syndromes associated with MRSA disease, including skin and soft tissue infections, bacteremia and endocarditis, pneumonia, bone and joint infections, and central nervous system infections.
IDSA/SHEA Practice Guidelines on Antimicrobial StewardshipExternal Link
This document presents guidelines for developing institutional programs to enhance antimicrobial stewardship, an activity that includes appropriate selection, dosing, route, and duration of antimicrobial therapy.
IDSA/SHEA Practice Guidelines on Clostridium difficileExternal Link
This guideline from IDSA and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is designed to improve the diagnosis and management of Clostridium difficile infection in adult patients.
Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care HospitalsExternal Link
This compendium of practice recommendations was sponsored and authored by IDSA and SHEA. Partners were the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Joint Commission, and the American Hospital Association.
IDSA Recommendations to United Nations on Antimicrobial Resistance
IDSA provided recommendations in advance of a United Nations (UN) High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in September; IDSA recommends focus on surveillance data collection, antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial drug and diagnostic research and development, vaccination and infection prevention, and investment in an infectious diseases physician workforce.
Many patients and their families have suffered the debilitating effects of drug-resistant infections.IDSA believes it is important to tell their stories to spur the development of new treatments and to strengthen efforts to control drug resistance. If you would like to share your story, please contact Jen Morales at email@example.com.
Comments on Generating Antibiotic Incentives Provisions in Draft PDUFA Bill 041212.pdf
The Society’s proposed Limited Population Antibacterial Drug (LPAD) mechanism would streamline the development of antibiotics needed to treat the most serious infections.
PCAST AR comments Final.pdf
IDSA presented comments at the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Public Meeting on Antibiotic Resistance. IDSA is encouraged by the closer attention the federal government is paying to the public health crisis posed by antibiotic resistance, but the need for comprehensive, concrete actions is overdue.
Help Win Congress’s Support for New AntibioticsExternal Link
Legislative Action Alert: We need your help urging Congress to provide a new FDA approval pathway to help companies bring to market the most urgently needed new antibiotics. Contact Congress today and support the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act.
Facts about Antibiotic Resistance
The discovery of antibiotics in the 1930s fundamentally transformed the way physicians care for patients, shifting their approach from a focus on diagnoses without means to intervene into a treatment-focused approach that saves lives. Now, nearly 70 years later, we’ve reached a critical point in treating infectious diseases: new drugs are not being developed at anywhere near the pace necessary to keep ahead of the natural ability of bacteria to evolve and defend themselves against antibiotics. The result is that some of our most powerful drugs are becoming useless.
IDSA Leads Health Groups in Letter to New Administration Urging Continuation of AMR Efforts
IDSA coordinated a letter, joined by 47 other health groups, to President-elect Trump urging that federal efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance be maintained in the years ahead.
IDSA Outlines ID Policy Issues for Trump Transition Team
IDSA outlines important ID policy issues for Vice President-elect Mike Pence, head of the Trump Transition Team.
IDSA Letter to WHO on Prioritizing Antimicrobial Resistant Pathogens
IDSA reached out to World Health Organization Director Dr. Margaret Chan on the need to prioritize antimicrobial resistant pathogens as it develops its Global R&D Priority Pathogens List.
Statement from IDSA President Barbara Murray, MD, FIDSA, on PCAST Meeting
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) enthusiastically welcomes today’s news from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and we look forward to seeing the full report with recommendations to President Obama on antimicrobial resistance.
IDSA, Pew Support Regulatory Pathway for Antibiotic Development
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and The Pew Charitable Trusts today hailed increasing bipartisan support in Congress to spur antibiotic development and meet the needs of patients facing the growing threat of drug-resistant pathogens.
IDSA Applauds President Obama, Calls for Action on State of the Union Pledge to Address Drug Resistance
In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama acknowledged the need for innovation to address drug-resistant bacteria. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is pleased by the President’s commitment to addressing this crisis and is calling for him to follow through in order to avoid a return to the pre-antibiotic era.
Green, Gingrey: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Presents Growing Health ThreatExternal Link
New legislation, the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act of 2013, would incentivize and accelerate the development of new drugs to treat drug-resistant infections, say Reps. Gene Green and Phil Gingrey writing in The Houston Chronicle.
Drug Makers Tiptoe Back Into Antibiotic R&DExternal Link
The Wall Street Journal reports on large pharmaceutical companies returning to antibiotic research and development, though hurdles still remain.
Antibiotic Resistant SuperbugsExternal Link
IDSA President Barbara E. Murray, MD, talks with Fox TV, Houston, about antibiotic resistance, overuse of antibiotics, and the need for new diagnostics and drugs.
CDC Sounds Alarm on Deadly, Untreatable SuperbugsExternal Link
USA Today reports on a family of "nightmare" superbugs: carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacaea (CRE). CDC, SHEA, and IDSA representatives discuss the difficulty in treatment and preventing transmission of CRE.
Drug Companies, Health Groups Back IDSA Proposal
Pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical societies, public health organizations and patient groups are lining up in support of a legislative initiative proposed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) that streamlines the development of antibiotics desperately needed to treat the most serious bacterial infections.
Hospital Programs to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance Working: StudiesExternal Link
HealthDay News reports that antimicrobial stewardship programs are helping to reduce antibiotic resistance and costs, but too few hospitals have fully implemented such programs, according to new research presented at IDSA’s Annual Meeting. (
New Measures, Legislation Aimed at Antibiotic Resistance: Infections Cost Millions, End LivesExternal Link
The Nation’s Health reports on IDSA’s plan to combat deadly antibiotic-resistant “super bugs,” which was rolled out on World Health Day 2011.
Doctors Make Case for More Drug SpendingExternal Link
The Hill reports on an IDSA Congressional briefing to call attention to the Society’s 10 x 20 Initiative, aimed at developing 10 new antibiotics by 2020.
Media Advisory: Capitol Hill Briefing on Antibiotic Resistance Threats to the U.S.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and The Pew Charitable Trusts will hold a briefing on a new report from the CDC, “Antibiotic Resistance Threats to the United States, 2013.”