Current projects

Evaluation of the implementation of the UK Antimicrobial Resistance National Action Plan in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms have evolved and no longer respond to the drugs designed to work against them. The emergence of resistance in bacteria is a natural phenomenon that has accelerated in response to the use of antibiotics in agriculture and medicine and their release into the environment, including through municipal and industrial wastewater. AMR is a global threat: microorganisms with resistance genes can spread through the movement of people, animals, food, soil, air, and water. In addition, some resistance genes can be directly transferred between microorganisms.

After the recent COVID-19 outbreak, effective implementation of AMR policy is now even more important. The relationship between AMR and the response to COVID-19 is complicated, and includes changes within health care settings (e.g. altered prescribing behaviour, and infection prevention and control processes); wider impacts on human health systems (e.g. initiatives to increase vaccination rates for other infections such as seasonal flu, and disruption to health services and drug supply chains); changes in the way people come together, move around their communities and access health services; and the wider impacts of the policy response to COVID-19 (for example, resulting in impacts on income and access to education and childcare, and potential impacts on inequalities).