Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

When a pathogen becomes resistant to antibiotics, it becomes incredibly difficult to treat. Trying to solve this complex problem is at the forefront of microbiology research today.

Combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) demands a range of approaches, including strategies to reduce the selective pressure on microbes; retain the efficacy of current antimicrobial products through good practice; and develop new products, tools and technologies.

It is absolutely vital that research on the transmission, pathology and prevalence of AMR is carried out within the ‘One Health’ agenda. Following a ‘One Health’ approach ensures that interdisciplinary collaborations in all aspects of human and animal health take into account impacts on the environment. Applied microbiologists are involved in both human and animal health, and SfAM promotes a ‘One Health’ approach by encouraging and utilising those members’ expertise to help tackle the various issues surrounding AMR.

Applied microbiology is uniquely able to contribute in three areas in particular, to align with the UK Government’s 20-year vision for AMR:

  • Reducing unintentional exposure to antimicrobials.
  • Optimising use of antimicrobials.
  • Driving innovation.

The Society for Applied Microbiology collaborates with partner organisations, industry representatives, public sector workers and policymakers to promote the value of applied microbiology to multidisciplinary research & development approaches in this area. This includes The Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance LeSPAR, which you can find out more about by clicking here.

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AMR case study: the impact of COVID-19

AMR has not paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, although it has been overshadowed, and there are many ways in which the pandemic could shape this problem now and in the future.

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AMR case study: AMR in the environment

Most antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research and public policy, to date, has concentrated on human and  animal health. However, the environment plays an equally critical role in the development, dissemination, and proliferation of AMR.

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Position statement on AMR

SfAM's position statement on antimicrobial resistance