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Antibiotics have a strong inhibitory effect on the metabolic processes of bacteria and thus prevent the bacteria from multiplying or surviving.

Antibiotics have been used for decades to treat and prevent infectious diseases and infections. The use of antimicrobials has greatly contributed to the improvement of health. Antibiotics are indispensable in modern medicine, and procedures such as transplants, chemotherapy for cancer, and orthopaedic surgery could not be performed without their use. However, their widespread use is also accompanied by an increasing incidence of resistant microorganisms. Efforts are being made throughout Europe to reduce the development of resistance through the judicious use of antibiotics (i.e., prevention of resistance through appropriate selection of active ingredients depending on the pathogen and spectrum of activity, as well as administration of an adequate dose over a sufficient period of time). Efforts are directed toward the avoidance of antibiotics in the treatment of viral infections and of excessively prophylactic antibiotic applications (e.g., in surgical procedures), as well as proper use of antibiotics by patients.1


1 Federal Ministry of Health (ed.), Resistance Report Austria AURES 2018: (accessed: 09.02.2021).