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Glossary of Terms


Antimicrobials are substances that kill microorganisms or suppress growth. They are used to prevent and treat bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoal infections in humans and animals and are commonly referred to as anti-bacterials, antivirals, antifungals and antiprotozoals.


Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections. 

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when micro-organisms change and the medicines used to treat infections and disease caused by these micro-organisms are no longer effective. 


Bacteria are one of the major groups of microorganisms or microbes, some of which can infect and cause disease in humans and animals while others can reside in humans or animals without causing any harm.

Critically Important Antimicrobials

Critically important antimicrobials are antimicrobials of last resort for treatment of human infection.

Microorganisms or microbes

Microorganisms or microbes are microscopic living organisms. Examples include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and some fungi and parasites. They are widespread in nature where they sustain ecosystems.  Many are essential to human and animal health. However, some may cause disease in humans and animals. 

One Health

A concept promoting a ‘whole of society’ approach which recognises that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

Zoonotic Bacteria

Zoonotic Bacteria are bacteria that spread infection between animals and humans.