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Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest global health threats we face.  AMR infections are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally.

Our Tackling AMR campaign highlights the role research has to play in combating the AMR threat and how the NIHR can support researchers, life science industry and other key players to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics is one of the biggest global threats we face. 

AMR infections are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally. It is predicted to rise to 10 million by 2050 if we do nothing.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to the drugs used to treat the infections they cause. No new classes of antibiotic have been discovered since the 1980 and the excessive and inappropriate use of the antibiotics we have is on the rise.

The UK government’s aim is to contain and control antimicrobial resistance by 2040. This depends on research. The NIHR has a crucial role to play in tackling antimicrobial resistance.  


There is no silver bullet when it comes tackling the threat of antimicrobial resistance but it's clear we need to be smarter with our treatment.

This is where research comes in. Our experts explain:

Dr Jane Minton in The BMJ: A cornerstone of modern medicine is crumbling
Prof Jonathan Ross in National Health Executive: We need a smarter approach to tackling AMR
Prof Martin Llewelyn in Research Fortnight: Overcoming antimicrobial resistance
Dr Andy Ustianowski's blog: The AMR fight is one we must win

 

 

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to healthcare but new antibiotics are not the only solution. Giving antibiotics promptly can saves lives but giving antibiotics to people who don't need them leads to overuse of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance.

The NIHR supports important research looking at better ways of using antibiotics. Antibiotic stewardship, vaccines and new diagnostics all have a role to play.

More research into new diagnostics could help establish more quickly whether antibiotics are needed at all, while better management of resistant infections can help prevent infection in the first place and therefore need for treatment.

Gonorrhoea: Can we recycle older antibiotics?
Sepsis: How long should we treat sepsis with antibiotics
STIs: Diagnosing faster to reduce transmission
Antibiotic use in hospitals: New strategies to curb overuse

NIHR is at the vanguard of clinical research in the UK. We provide a range of support to life sciences industry, charities and other funders looking to conduct AMR research in the UK.

Our Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) are research partnerships between universities and Public Health England (PHE) that act as centres of excellence in multidisciplinary health protection research in England. There are HPRUs in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London and University of Oxford

Our Study Support Service helps researchers and the life sciences industry plan, set up and deliver high quality research to time and target in both the NHS and in the wider health and social care environment. Email supportmystudy@nihr.ac.uk or call 0113 343 4555

Our Funding programmes support projects and studies in antimicrobial resistance