A serious global challenge
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global challenge for public health, food security and sustainable development. Microbes including bacteria, fungi and viruses are increasingly becoming resistant to antimicrobial drugs that were previously effective against them, making it more difficult to treat infections.
Microbiologists working in sectors including research, public and veterinary health, agriculture, industry and government are playing a key role in the research, surveillance and development and delivery of interventions needed to tackle AMR. We are supporting our members and the wider scientific community to address and raise awareness of AMR and provide expert microbiological opinion and evidence for policy-makers.
Explore our work on AMR
The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has now been recognised globally and it is estimated that 10 million people a year will die due to antimicrobial resistance by 2050 if no urgent action is taken. Explore more of the Microbiology Society’s work on antimicrobial resistance below, including further reading and resources, interviews with members working in the field of AMR research and our journal collections.
The history of antibiotics
Antibiotics have been used for millennia to treat infections, although until the last century or so people did not know the infections were caused by bacteria. Discover more about the history of antibiotics today.
A Sustainable Future and antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
To mark the 75th anniversary of the Microbiology Society, we embarked on an ambitious project titled ‘A Sustainable Future’ that demonstrated the value and raised the profile of microbiology in addressing the world’s biggest challenges, including antimicrobial resistance, which has been described as one of the biggest threats to humanity.
Resources and further reading
Discover more about antimicrobial resistance by reading our latest blogs, case studies and exploring our digital collections of content relevant to the topic.
Meet our members working in the field of AMR
Learn about the research of our members who are working to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Antimicrobial Resistance Microbiology journal collection
Guest-edited by Professor Willem van Schaik and Dr Robert Moran, this special collection on antimicrobial resistance featured in Microbiology, aims to highlight research on the emergence, accumulation and spread of antimicrobial resistance, with a particular focus on opportunistic pathogens and the mobile genetic elements therein.
New antibiotics needed: WHO priority pathogens of concern
In 2017, the World Health Organisation published a list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. This publication was compiled to help guide and promote research and the development of new antibiotics, and lists 12 families in order of research priority. In an effort to help raise the profile of these important pathogens, Microbial Genomics has commissioned a
Informing policy-makers and funders
- We responded to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee’s AMR Inquiry, evaluating the UK Government’s AMR Strategy.
- We also responded to the House of Commons International Development Committee on the impact of UK aid cuts, which will have a devastating impact on antimicrobial resistance research.
- Read our expert-informed explainer, policy briefings and reports on antimicrobial resistance and emerging microbiome research.
- We engage with government, funders and other bodies, including through the Learned Society Partnership on AMR (LeSPAR) and UK Government’s AMR Health Stakeholder Group.
Supporting interdisciplinary research
- With the LeSPAR, we have held workshops and events to promote interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange.
- We have organised scientific conferences connecting AMR researchers and other stakeholders, including on Focused Meetings on AMR and One Health and AMR and Zoonoses.
External links and resources
Some useful links for members and others interested in AMR include:
- Antibiotic Guardian – a Public Health England AMR awareness campaign.
- Antibiotic Research UK – a virtual charity which researches new antibiotics.
- World Health Organisation – outlining information and activities from the WHO and other United Nations agencies.
- UK AMR Strategy – outlining the UK Government’s AMR Strategy and activities.
- Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership –mobilizes partners to develop new and improved antibiotics.