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What is antimicrobial resistance?


To find out, watch this video, produced by the Microbiology Society:


To understand more about the threat of antimicrobial resistance and previous policy developments, read our policy briefing note.


The Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR)


The Royal Society of Biology is part of the Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR) in collaboration with the Biochemical Society, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the British Pharmacological Society, the Microbiology Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Society for Applied Microbiology.


About LeSPAR

LeSPAR aims to provide a single, unified voice and mobilise the UK’s collective research community in order to enhance understanding and knowledge sharing between academia, industry, and clinicians. The group is focused on taking action, championing best practice and raising awareness of the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

LeSPAR will achieve these aims by:

  • Supporting researchers in creating, sharing and applying knowledge.
  • Organising focused events to enable networking and knowledge exchange, and to promote effective collaborations across disciplines and sectors.
  • Engaging with government and other funders to achieve policy and funding support for the antimicrobial research community and connecting expertise from our membership to policy makers.
  • Assembling information on relevant resources and meeting



To get in touch with the group, please email our Science Policy Officer Alessandro Coatti.

Previous LeSPAR activities

Early Career Researcher workshop on diagnostics for Antimicrobial Resistance
On 20 November 2017 LeSPAR organised an interdisciplinary workshop for early career scientists at PhD and post doctoral level. The workshop, held in London, acted as a platform to share knowledge, encourage networking and explore the barriers and opportunities facing the development of rapid diagnostics for infectious disease. Read our news story for more detail.

Statement in response to commitments made by G7 and G20 summits and the UN General Assembly in 2016

The Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR) welcomes news of global political and pharmaceutical industry support for actions to tackle the threat of resistant infections.

The G7 and G20 summits and the UN General Assembly have now agreed proactive steps to ensure collaboration between nations, accepting the recommendations of the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR and the UK AMR Review. In particular they have agreed:

  • Support for all countries to design and implement national action plans
  • Initiatives to stimulate research and development of new antimicrobial products
  • Public awareness and engagement activities

In line with these agreements, the pharmaceutical industry has published a roadmap with an emphasis on public-private partnership. This guides both the development of new drugs and the management of access to antimicrobials, where and when they are needed.

LeSPAR will continue to work with our collective community of experts to ensure actions are taken in support of these resolutions.

Antimicrobial resistance: environments, evolution and transmission

Networking workshops for researchers

 A report and an executive summary were published in September 2015 on the three networking workshops which looked into the antimicrobial resistance environments, evolution and transmission in 2015. The talks from the workshops can be viewed online.

The Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) held three interdisciplinary networking workshops to bring together researchers, from all career stages, who have an interest in fundamental or translational research relating to the evolution and transmission of AMR.

AMR is a global health threat. A better understanding of how different environments, and their uses, affect the evolution and transmission of resistance is key to tackling AMR. These environments include: animal and human host tissues; hospitals and urban environments; and agricultural and natural settings. The need to understand these ‘real world interactions’ is reflected by Theme 3 of the cross-research council AMR funding initiative.

Multidisciplinary research and knowledge exchange across medicine, the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, social sciences, agricultural and veterinary sciences will be vital for closing this knowledge gap and translating research into applications to tackle AMR.

Statement in response to World Health Organization Global Action Plan on AMR

LeSPAR issued a joint statement on the World Health Organization Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, which was agreed during the sixty-eighth meeting of the World Health Assembly in May 2015.

The statement welcomes the action plan and states that implementation at both a national and international level can have a positive impact on tackling the problems associated with AMR, and will require the coordinated commitment of funding, expertise, and manpower. Read the statement in full.