The Microbiology Society issues topical briefing papers, which provide need-to-know information on various subjects such as hospital-acquired infections, climate change and pandemic influenza. These resources are prepared with the help of our members. To request hard copies of these resources please contact our Policy Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The quality of soil and its suitability for growing crops has been important since humans developed agriculture. Back in 1888, Rhizobium spp. were found living in the roots of leguminous plants; first suggesting the importance of soil microbes. It is now known that soil microbiomes are diverse communities with complex interactions, made up of a vast array of bacteria, fungi, archaea, protists and viruses, which are crucial for carbon and nutrient cycling, plant health and even soil structure.
In an increasingly expanding global economy, within a resource-constrained environment; concerns over the exploitation and possible future scarcity of natural resources are rapidly rising. In recent years, interest in a circular model that looks beyond the current linear ‘takemake-waste’ industrial model, has surged among scientists, policy makers and business actors. The circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.
In 2015 the United Nations (UN) adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of targets for the world to achieve by 2030. AMR is a very real threat to achieving the UN SDGs, particularly those associated with poverty, food production, the environment and sustainable economic growth. AMR is a naturally occurring process, whereby micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) can change and adapt over time, either by modifying the target of the antimicrobial, or by developing and exchanging resistance genes.