World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Biofilm of antibiotic resistant rod-shaped bacteria

Held every November since 2015, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) gauges awareness levels in all sectors of the population via a short questionnaire and promotes the issue via a number of resources that can be found on the links below.

Antibiotic resistance awareness events

The University continues to promote antibiotic resistance messages from the UK government and Public Health England outside of World Antibiotic Awareness Week. 


  • Date/time: 24 April 2018, 18:00-20:30
  • Venue: Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building

This interdisciplinary event, curated by Alexis Kirke of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (ICCMR) and supported by the Marine Institute, involves active and leading researchers in psychology, social sciences, biomedicine and the arts. 

Aimed at the general public, the event includes a talk by Dr Mat Upton who will discuss discovering new antibiotics from marine environments.

Find out more and register your place

Science Museum events

Venue: Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD


  • Date/time: 25 April 2018, 18:45-22:00
  • Location: Science Museum Cafe

A fun, relaxed evening of quizzes and games to inform the public about antimicrobal resistance (AMR). Over 18s only.

Contact for further information. 


  • Date: 9 November 2017 - Spring 2019
  • Location: Level 0, Tomorrow's World 

Visit Science Museum's Special Exhibition on Superbugs to explore how society is responding to the enormous challenge of antibiotic resistance. The exhibition feature scientific research from across the globe and the personal stories of those waging war on the superbugs.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest significant threats to global health that is facing us today.

KEY FACTS (source: WHO factsheet)

  • Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
  • A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines. Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic resistant. 

These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.

Why antibiotic resistance is relevant to you:

Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.

WHAT WE WANT YOU TO DO: To slow resistance we need to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. We invite the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations, to become 'Antibiotic Guardians'. 

Antibiotic Guardians’ pledge to help raise the profile of antibiotic resistance – you can sign up via the 'Pledge now!' button above.

CALL TO ACTION: Choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.