Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been recognised globally – it is estimated that 10 million people per year will die due to antimicrobial resistance by 2050 if no urgent action is taken. Importantly, it has also been recognised that AMR compromises the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Antimicrobial resistance affects human health (SDG 3) and sanitation (SDG 6); food security and agriculture (SDG 2); poverty (SDG 1) and economic growth (SDG 8), particularly in the poorest countries. Appropriate stewardship of antimicrobials is required to ensure their effectiveness (SDG 12). Moreover, AMR needs to be addressed through strong partnerships between multiple sectors and global collaboration (SDG 17).
In 2015, the World Health Assembly adopted a global action plan on AMR, and in 2016 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a political declaration committing to tackle AMR. In accordance with this, the UN Secretary-General established the Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG) to provide practical guidance on approaches needed to ensure sustained effective global action to address AMR. In the UK, the commitment to act has been detailed in the recently published five-year national action plan: Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019-2024, and 20-year vision to contain and control AMR.
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. Learn more about AMR and how microbiology is at the forefront of new innovative interventions and developments in this explainer.
Explore a range of case studies that focus on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) including, using existing drugs to make bacteria susceptible to antibiotics, how ecology can affect antibiotic resistance, and if Victorian water treatment technologies are fit for the AMR era?
Professor Laura Piddock from the University of Birmingham and Dr Anne Leonard, research fellow at the University of Exeter discuss how how research into antimicrobial resistance fits into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
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