Spreading of antibiotic resistant bacteria

How antibiotic resistance spreads?

Antibiotics are important drugs used to kill bacteria that cause infections in humans and animals. However, bacteria can develop mechanisms to avoid the effect of antibiotics and become resistant to one or multiple drugs. Antibiotic resistant infections are difficult to treat because the drugs designed to kill them become ineffective. Antibiotic resistant bacteria may spread in several ways between the humans, animals, and environment.1,2

Hospital and primary care

Patients who receive antibiotics at the primary care or hospital may develop drug resistant bacteria in their gut. In hospitals, resistant bacteria may spread to other patients and staff also via surfaces or unclean hands. Patients who carry antibiotic resistant bacteria may spread them to other people and animals.


When antibiotics are given to farm animals, antibiotic resistant bacteria may develop in their gut. Resistant bacteria may end up in nature when faeces are used as fertilizers on the crop or through wastewaters. If people or animals eat food contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria, the bacteria may cause infection and spread further to other people and animals.


Antibiotics that end up in the environment through wastewaters cause development on antibiotic resistance bacteria in nature. Bacteria may spread from the environment to people and animals.

QuikRead go CRP testing prevents spreading of antibiotic resistance

To stop the spreading of antibiotic resistance, antibiotics should be prescribed only when truly needed and for patients who benefit from the treatment. QuikRead go CRP testing aids in reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections.

  1. European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Antibiotic resistance: How does antibiotic resistance spread, 2014. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/antibiotic-resistance-how-does-antibiotic-resistance-spread.
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Where Antibiotic resistance spreads, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about/where-resistance-spreads.html.