Tackling antimicrobial resistance


The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

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.

What is AMR? 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. 

Tackling AMR is a priority for global health. The UK government’s goal is to contain and control antimicrobial resistance by 2040. This depends on clinical research.

The NIHR has a crucial role to play in tackling antimicrobial resistance.


More research is critical to tackle AMR

A cornerstone of modern medicine is crumbling: Read Dr Jane Minton's piece in The BMJ.

We need a smarter approach to tackling AMR: Read Prof Jonathan Ross' piece in National Health Executive.

Overcoming antimicrobial resistance: Read Prof Martin Llewelyn's piece in Research Fortnight.

The AMR fight is one we must win: Read Dr Andy Ustianowski's blog.


Better stewardship, new diagnostics and preventing infection

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 has supported important research looking at better ways of using antibiotics. More research into new diagnostics could help establish quicker 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.


NIHR support for Researchers and Life Sciences Industry

The NIHR provides a range of support to life sciences industry, charities and other funders looking to conduct AMR research in the UK. The NIHR can provide partners with:

  • Access to expertise and collaborations to help translate discoveries from the laboratory into the clinic

  • Access to funding programmes to support project and studies

  • Access to our Study Support Service helping 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.

e: supportmystudy@nihr.ac.uk
t: 0113 343 4555