November 6th, 2018

// Canadians Largely Unaware of Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance

Survey Reveals Canadians Largely Unaware of Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance


MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - In acknowledgement of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, Nov. 12-18, a new survey examining Canadians' understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) reveals that many are unfamiliar with and unconcerned about the threat of drug resistance.1,2

Drug-resistant infections are predicted to cause more deaths by 2050 than cancer and diabetes today, and without serious collective action, the spread of AMR could lead to an era in which common injuries and infections become lethal.3,4 With greater education on the topic, Canadians can become better equipped to take an active role in advocating for action against this threat.

The survey revealed:

  • Only 29 per cent of Canadians surveyed consider themselves "somewhat" or "very" knowledgeable about AMR.2
  • When asked about their personal overall health and well-being, Canadians ranked AMR among conditions that were of least concern.2
  • Canadians are interested in learning more about AMR, with 81 per cent of respondents wanting more government information on the topic.2

Results illustrated that many Canadians shared widespread misconceptions relating to AMR. Of those surveyed, 60 per cent of respondents nationwide believed 'antibiotic resistance' means that a person with an infection is resistant to antibiotics.2

"Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria or other microorganisms develop resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs," says Dr. David Patrick, University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health. "Antibiotic resistance does not refer to a body's resistance to antibiotics, but to the bacteria's response to antibiotics."

The survey also revealed misunderstandings about whether AMR is something Canadians should be worried about. Nationwide, 44 per cent of respondents believed AMR to be more of a concern in developing countries.

"Antimicrobial resistance affects everyone, everywhere, and that includes Canada, where it is an increasingly serious concern," says Dr. Andrew Morris, Sinai Health System and University Health Network. "It is truly a global health issue that warrants collective action."

To play a role in effectively combating AMR, Canadians can discuss their infections with health care providers and the appropriateness of receiving antibiotic treatment.

"Ensuring we're using appropriate antibiotics through strong antimicrobial stewardship programs will allow clinicians and physicians to take action on diagnostic test results, which is an important strategy to reduce unnecessary prescribing and for the early detection of drug-resistant infections," says Steve Gundersen, president, BD – Canada.

BD, a global medical technology company, commissioned the study to determine the state of public awareness and understanding of AMR across Canada. The company is also collaborating with several other entities, to mobilize a new broad-based AMR public awareness and coalition-building campaign, under the theme I'm a resistance fighter™. The global Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter campaign highlights the roles and impact of health practitioners, professional associations, government leaders, non-government organizations, health agencies, advocacy groups and patients in combating AMR. It focuses on communicating the stories and impacts of organizations and clinicians that are combating AMR, and the testimony of patients and their families who have personally battled antimicrobial resistant infections. Canadians interested in sharing their story or joining this campaign can visit:

About BD

BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 65,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help improve patient outcomes, improve the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to better diagnose disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care. In 2017, BD welcomed C. R. Bard and its products into the BD family. For more information on BD, please visit


  1. World Health Organization. World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 12-18 November 2018. Last accessed September 24, 2018.
  2. Leger. Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Report. 2018.
  3. O'Neill, J. (2016). Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: Final report and recommendations. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.
  4. World Health Organization. Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014. Last accessed September 19, 2018.

SOURCE BD - Canada


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