Antimicrobial Resistance & Microbiology

The World Health Organization cites antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one of the most significant risks facing the world. Often referred to as a 'hidden pandemic', AMR threatens global health and development as it impacts on human, animal and plant health and also our environment, water safety and food security. Latest research shows that in 2019, nearly 5 million deaths worldwide were directly or indirectly attributable to AMR. Our 'One Health' approach focuses on designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.

Our research focuses on the evolution of resistance in complex microbial communities found in human, animal and environmental microbiomes. We also study the dissemination of AMR at a landscape scale and human exposure and transmission in aquatic environments. Our team has reported to and informed policy for organisations including the Environment Agency, The United Nations Environment Assembly, and The European Union.

We consist of groups led by Professor William Gaze, Dr Anne Leonard, Dr Aimee Murray, and Dr Michiel Vos. The following represents the diversity of interdisciplinary work undertaken by teams at ECEHH in this area.

Tackling the Global Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance

News

New video explains how GW4 is tackling the global threat of antimicrobial resistance using 'One Health' approach

The GW4 Alliance’s response to the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – one of the greatest emerging threats to human health – is showcased in a new video.

News

Experts report to UN on AMR

Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest health challenges of modern times – and now two world-leading academics from ECEHH have reported to the United Nations on how the problem can be spread through our natural environment.

News

Exeter in GW4's world-leading One Health approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance pandemic

The GW4 Alliance (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities) formally launch their new ‘One Health’ antimicrobial resistance research consortium today. The World Health Organisation cites antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one…

Microbial Ecology

Understanding AMR transmission in natural environments

Research project

MRes Research: Antibiotic resistance in coastal waters

Determining the levels and spread of antibiotic resistant E. coli in the environment.

Research project

Catchment-scale antimicrobial resistance

How do catchment-scale processes contribute to antibiotic resistance in coastal waters?

Research project

Assessing exposure to antibiotic resistance

How are humans exposed to environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistant organisms?

Research project

PhD Research: Antimicrobial resistance in freshwater microbes

Investigating selection for antimicrobial resistance by non-antibiotic drugs in freshwater microbes.

Research project

Antimicrobial resistance in rivers

Analysing the contribution of wastewater treatment discharge to antibiotic resistance.

News

Research establishes safe water thresholds for antimicrobials, advancing the battle against resistance

Researchers have made progress towards a G7 commitment to establish safe standards for the release of antimicrobials into the environment, by developing a new framework that establishes safe thresholds. The…

Research project

Ecological drivers of drug resistance

Exploring the ecological drivers of drug resistant pathogens in aquatic environments.

News

Rapid testing developed to combat antibiotic resistance build-up in waterways

Researchers have developed a swift new method that could help reduce the problem of antibiotic resistance increasing via wastewater systems Around 70 per cent of the antibiotics we take as…

Research project

PhD Research: Microplastics as Vectors of Antimicrobial Resistance in Aquatic Systems

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a significant global threat to human health, with the environment playing an increasingly important role in the evolution and spread of AMR. Microplastics are ubiquitous in…

News

Scientists and Surfers team up to assess antibiotic resistance

Microbiologists to shed light on how surfers might be affected by antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Research project

Antimicrobial resistance surveillance

Developing an international strategy for the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in the environment.

Research project

Mapping the evidence for AMR

Mapping the evidence for the risks of human exposure to antimicrobial resistance in the natural environment.

Microbial Evolution

Understanding AMR adaptation in natural environments

Research project

Assessing bacterial pathogens in the coastal zone

Investigating human exposure to antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria in natural aquatic environments.

Research project

Do antibiotics in the environment lead to resistance in situ?

Assessing how environmental antibiotic concentrations can select for resistance.

Research project

PhD Research: Antimicrobial resistance in complex microbial communities

Developing approaches to investigate the selective potential of antibiotics in complex microbial communities.

Research project

Tackling antimicrobial resistance through knowledge exchange

Improving understanding of antimicrobial resistance in academia, government and industry.

Research project

AMR environmental risk assessment

Designing a new method to quantify the environmental risks posed by antibiotics.

Research project

Improving understanding of AMR in livestock systems: A conceptual framework

AMR: The issue with livestock  Antimicrobial usage (AMU) in livestock has been shown to be an important driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals and is associated with resistance in humans,…

Research project

PhD Research: Evolution of opportunistic pathogens

Understanding the ecology and evolution of antimicrobial resistance in opportunistic pathogens.

Research project

PhD Research: Herbicides and antibiotic resistance

Investigating selection for antimicrobial resistance by plant protection products.

Research project

PhD Research: Understanding the evolution of antimicrobial resistance

How do environmental factors shape the ratio of vertical to horizontal resistance evolution?

News

Play the Lameness Game to help reduce antibiotic use in sheep farming

A new citizen science study is trying to understand how easy it is to spot lameness in sheep by using a simulation game – in order to help reduce the…

External

AMR environmental risk assessment

Working to develop a standardised method, the first of its kind, that can rapidly and cost effectively fill the data gap in AMR evolution and contribute to setting targets for antimicrobial concentrations in the environment that will minimise the risk of evolution of AMR occurring in the environment.

Research project

MRes Research: Uncovering pathogens in the soil microbiome

Investigating pathogens present in soil through the application of the Galleria mellonella model.