Friday 18 November is European Antibiotic Awareness Day. On this day, throughout Europe attention focuses on the threat of antibiotic resistance to people and animals. Using antibiotics incorrectly or too frequently promotes the development and spread of bacteria that are resistant (no longer susceptible) to the effects of antibiotics. The risk is that illnesses such as pneumonia or bladder infections could become more difficult to treat, or even untreatable. In addition to responsible use of antibiotics, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment supports the prevention of the spread of resistant bacteria by providing insights into the occurrence and spread of resistance.

CAESAR Annual Report 2016


The European Antibiotic Awareness Day is the last day of the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW). In the European Region, WAAW continues and broadens the scope of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day. Today WHO has published the second Central Asian and Eastern European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (CAESAR) report.  The CAESAR annual report 2016 shows that, in the European Region, antibiotic resistance is widespread. These data provide a basis for taking prompt action to improve antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention and control in the affected countries.

Joint initiative


The CAESAR project is collaboration between RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment , European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) and World Health Organization Europe (WHO Europe).

How to prevent the spread of resistant bacteria?

This animation explains what antibiotic resistance is and why some antibiotics fail. Doctors prescribe antibiotics when the body needs help to recover from an infection. Sometimes bacteria have protected themselves against the antibiotic. This infection is more difficult to treat, because the usual antibiotics do not work. If antibiotics are used incorrectly or too often this increases the chances of bacteria becoming resistant.

Antibiotic resistance: why do some antibiotics fail?

This animation explains what antibiotic resistance is and why some antibiotics fail. Doctors prescribe antibiotics when the body needs help to recover from an infection. Sometimes bacteria have protected themselves against the antibiotic. This infection is more difficult to treat, because the usual antibiotics do not work. If antibiotics are used incorrectly or too often this increases the chances of bacteria becoming resistant.