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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Overview of antibiotic-resistant infections

Tirohanga whānui ki ngā pokenga whawhai rongoā paturopi

This page has links to information in te reo Māori.


Infections caused by bacteria (germs) are often treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, some bacteria no longer respond to common antibiotics. This means the bacteria continues to cause infection.

This is called being antibiotic resistant. These bacteria are also known as multi-drug-resistant organisms (MDRO).

Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are difficult to treat. Although these types of infection are still rare, they're increasing in New Zealand, both in healthcare facilities and in the community. They're also a major public health problem worldwide.

The best ways to prevent the spread of these resistant bacteria are by:

The other pages in this section provide information about the most common MDROs, CPE (carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae), ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases), MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci).

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2022.


Page reference: 519789

Review key: HIMDR-85207