Antibiotics and Antimicrobial resistance

Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are a growing public health problem and cause increased morbidity and mortality. Antibiotic resistance also involves large costs for the health services, for example in the form of prolonged hospital stays and drugs that are more expensive.

The use of antibiotics is linked to both the emergence and spread of resistance. Therefore, it is important to use antibiotics responsibly – only when needed and in the correct way.

Our mission within the area of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance involves:

  • working to preserve the effect of antibiotics on bacterial infections in humans and animals
  • compiling and sharing knowledge with the health services, social services, and the general public on issues related to antibiotic resistance.
  • aiding in ensuring that prescribers, other relevant professional groups and the general public apply available knowledge on antibiotic resistance.
  • promoting initiatives at the local, national and international level on issues related to antibiotic resistance.
  • highlighting issues related to the emergence and spread of resistance in other microbes than bacteria as well as infection prevention and control and healthcare-associated infections,

Monitoring of antibiotic resistance and consumption

The Public Health Agency of Sweden carries out microbiological and epidemiological resistance surveillance and monitors antibiotic consumption.

Multisector Surveillance

We continually refine methods for verification of resistance, epidemiological typing techniques and external quality control standards for resistance assessments. Our monitoring is the basis for generating new knowledge and deciding what actions to prioritise.

Promoting the responsible use of antibiotics

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has published treatment recommendations for doctors and information leaflets for patients together with Strama (the Swedish strategic programme against antibiotic resistance).

Treatment recommendations and patient information

Access to antibiotics

The Government has commissioned the Public Health Agency of Sweden to propose and pilot new reimbursement models for keeping recently approved antibiotics and also older products available on the Swedish market.

We are also responsible for the procurement of antibiotics to stockpile in case of a pandemic influenza situation.

Availability of antibiotics

Priority list of off-patent antibiotic products at risk for lack of availability in Sweden

Preventing infections

Prevention in health care through hygiene routines and awareness in society prevents infections and spread of infection, which in turn reduces the need for antibiotics. The childhood vaccination program and influenza and pneumococcal vaccination for the elderly reduce infections in society.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden monitors and acts to limit healthcare-associated infections from emerging and spreading within health care and social care services

Infection prevention and control and healthcare-associated infections


Research and International Collaborations

We conduct research that is necessary to fulfil our mission and we follow and analyse developments in the field both nationally and internationally.

We have established bilateral collaborations with a number of countries and national agencies within the areas of antibiotic resistance and infection prevention and control. We also have multilateral collaborations with European and international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The Department of Communicable Disease Control and Health Protection at the Public Health Agency is a designated WHO Collaborating Centre for AMR Containment since 2016.

Research and innovation

International collaboration

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