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Watch Thomas and Saga introduce the course and talk more about what you’re going to learn and how you’ll go about learning it.

Why learn about antibiotic resistance?

Today we see an alarming increase of bacterial strains resistant to several antibiotics at the same time (known as multidrug-resistant bacteria or superbugs). Such bacteria may eventually become resistant to all existing antibiotics. Infections that previously were considered mild and uncomplicated if appropriately treated, could then become life-threatening.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in antibiotic resistance, no matter if you are a member of the public, a student, a health professional or any other expert.

Our focus is to provide an overview of antibiotic resistance from several different angles. An important aim is to give an understanding of the mechanisms behind the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance worldwide, but also what the society and you as an individual can do to control and prevent further emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

So which areas will be covered in the course?

  • Introduction and historical background of bacteria, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance
  • Mechanisms behind emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance
  • Medical and economic consequences of antibiotic resistance
  • Antibiotic resistance in the media
  • Experiences from the field
  • Management, control and prevention of antibiotic resistance
  • Lack of new antibiotics, diagnostic tools and global surveillance data
  • New business models to incentivise development of new antibiotics or alternatives and preservation of existing drugs
  • Access and excess to antibiotics in low- and middle-income countries
  • Challenges and responses of antibiotic resistance, including examples of ongoing initiatives
  • What you can do as an individual
  • Weekly activities

Videos lectures and a panel discussion

Video lectures are the primary method by which the educators are teaching this course. Each part of the course consists of a few video lectures that are possible to stream. In the last part of the course, we’ll wrap up with a recorded panel discussion where our experts on antibiotic resistance will participate. Please note that most video lectures were recorded in 2016, and a couple of them in time for the re-branding in 2018. This explains why more recent processes or developments are not mentioned therein. Some titles and affiliations of the educators may also have changed.


The short quizzes are primarily for training purposes and touch upon key information provided in the course.

Study questions

In the second and third part of the course, you’ll find study questions of varying difficulty. Use them to challenge yourself, enhance your learning, anchor your acquired knowledge and trigger reflection! Not all answers can be found directly in the course material, but depending on your interest, you might want to search for relevant information externally. Answer keys can be downloaded from the sections in which the study questions are provided.

Analytical assignments

In all parts of the course, it will also be possible to dig into a broad, analytical assignment that aims at further stimulating reflection upon particular issues. There is not a single correct answer to the assignments, and answer keys are therefore not provided. Instead, discuss the assignments with friends, colleagues or with yourself – hopefully you will gain new, useful insights about difficulties and possibilities to address the global issue of antibiotic resistance.

Further readings

An important starting-point in the development of this course was to ensure that the educational experience was beneficial to all participants regardless of their level of expertise. At the end of relevant sections, learners who may have more knowledge and experience with antibiotic resistance, or those who wish to challenge themselves, can look at the further readings. Here you’ll find a mixture of links to journal articles, factsheets and multimedia resources available for you to tap into, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and wherever you are.

© Uppsala University