A4NH Research on Antimicrobial Resistance

To tackle a growing problem of rising antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries, A4NH has joined with other CGIAR centers and programs to form an international hub to help integrate and channel research and development efforts.

A4NH Director John McDermott speaks at CGIAR AMR Hub launch in Nairobi, Kenya

The new CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub, launched in February 2019, will work to foster learning from past experiences, support research excellence in the global south and ensure a critical mass of coordinated research to find suitable and sustainable solutions. A4NH will be joined in this effort by the CGIAR research programs on Fish and Livestock, as well as the International Livestock Research Institute, which hosts the hub at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and the International Food Policy Research Institute, International Water Management Institute, and WorldFish. Together, these seven research programs and institutions with their national partners and partner research organizations outside CGIAR, will support global research efforts among experts the world over—from low- to middle- to high-income countries.

Globally, the main driver of the growing incidence of antimicrobial resistance in humans is overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human medicine, which applies selective pressure for resistant pathogens. But antimicrobial use in agriculture to control animal and plant diseases also contributes to this growing drug resistance problem, although experts don’t know the contribution of agriculture to the problem in humans.

The greatest challenges and burdens of antimicrobial resistance will be felt by the poorest in poorer countries. While these countries with their rapidly growing populations face the greatest and rising demand for increased food production, their populations also tend to have poorer access to relevant knowledge, veterinary and health services. The countries face challenges in enforcing regulations and understanding and implementing effective antimicrobial resistance surveillance.

Like climate change and malnutrition, two other global challenges CGIAR works to address, antimicrobial resistance challenges us to use evidence and find ways to change the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of people. Any solutions will require combining technical, institutional and policy innovations and leveraging the contributions of different sectors and disciplines, and both public and private actors.

With its mandate to improve the livelihoods of poor people, improve food and nutrition security and improve natural resource management through agriculture and food research, CGIAR is ideally positioned to tackle agriculture-related antimicrobial risks in developing countries and to develop, test and promote solutions to mitigate these risks together with its partners.

A4NH research in this area is conducted through its fifth research flagship, Improving Human Health.

For more information on the CGIAR AMR hub, please read the overview document or visit amr.cgiar.org.