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.


The Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR) is a powerful collaboration of organisations like SfAM devoted to tackling AMR.

Position statement on AMR

SfAM's position statement on antimicrobial resistance

UK launches 5-year antimicrobial resistance action plan

A 20-year vision and five-year action plan for the UK that aims to contain, control and mitigate antimicrobial resistance has been announced.

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.