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Addressing the antimicrobial resistance crisis

The complex problems associated with antimicrobial resistance and the hurdles to overcoming the crisis are well known, and there is no lack of plans and strategies to tackle the situation. Yet, ‘superbugs’ are on the rise and spread fast. So, what does it take to tackle the antimicrobial resistance crisis? What is needed are global leadership and bold steps from policymakers and the industry to make headway. This new Collection comprises Review, Viewpoint and Comment articles that highlight how the global scientific and public health communities as well as governmental and regulatory bodies focus on key areas to address the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.


Over the past decade, Klebsiella pneumoniae has emerged as a major clinical and public health threat. In this Review, Wyres, Lam and Holt discuss how genomics approaches have advanced our understanding of K. pneumoniae taxonomy, ecology and evolution as well as the diversity and distribution of clinically relevant determinants of pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

In this Review, Berman and Krysan define and distinguish resistance and tolerance, and discuss the current understanding of the molecular, genetic and physiological mechanisms that contribute to those phenomena. Distinguishing tolerance from resistance might provide important insights into the reasons for treatment failure in some settings.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

In this Review, van Belkum and colleagues discuss routinely used antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) methods, explore current efforts to improve phenotypic AST systems — including new emerging technologies as well as genomic and gene-based antimicrobial resistance detection methods — and highlight the challenges and opportunities for new rapid AST systems.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

With rising rates of antibiotic resistance, it is essential that new antibiotics are developed. In this Review, Theuretzbacher et al. take stock of the preclinical antibiotic pipeline and discuss challenges and opportunities for the discovery and development of novel antibacterial therapies.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology


In this Viewpoint article, seven experts discuss the challenges that are contributing to the decline in antibiotic drug discovery and development, and the international and national initiatives aimed at incentivizing research and the development of new antibiotics to improve the economic feasibility of antibiotic development.

Viewpoint | | Nature Reviews Microbiology


To control antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will require approaches to develop, share and preserve antibiotics that are scaled to the scientific, economic and ethical dimensions of the crisis. The three cooperative, interdisciplinary, international councils proposed in this Comment by Carl Nathan exemplify what this will require.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

Resistance to the current first-line antimalarials threatens the control of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and underscores the urgent need for new drugs with novel modes of action. Small-Saunders, Hagenah and Fidock present the argument that the parasite’s chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) constitutes a promising target to combat multidrug-resistant malaria.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

This month’s Genome Watch examines how novel machine learning-enabled molecular diagnostic approaches can predict antibiotic resistance when ge-netic variation falls short.

Genome Watch | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

Research Highlights