Antimicrobial resistance: a silent pandemic

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health problem, impacting human and animal health, and exacerbated by numerous factors; these include societal pressures of antimicrobial misuse/overuse, and inadequate diagnoses, natural causes such as genetic mutations and gene transfer, and lack of availability of effective novel antimicrobials, due to funding and regulatory barriers. As antimicrobials are a cornerstone of modern medicine, the increasing emergence and spread of AMR pathogens threatens our ability to treat simple infections, and increases the risk of complications following common medical procedures. Research of AMR is needed, from the discovery and clinical testing of novel antimicrobials, to surveillance of resistance and its spread in the environment/population, and a better understanding of the molecular and genetic bases of resistance and its evolution.

With this collection, Nature Communications, Nature Medicine, Nature Microbiology, Communications Medicine and Scientific Reports aim to publish research articles spanning the breadth of AMR and across microbial pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites). This includes, and is not limited to epidemiological monitoring of resistance incidence in clinical and environmental settings, novel strategies aiming to combat or prevent AMR (i.e. drug repurposing, drug synergy treatment, and vaccines), improvements in diagnostics, and subsequently tailored treatment, of drug-resistant infections.

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A doctor's or researcher's hand holding a Petri dish with a culture of bacteria on which an antibiotic disc test is performed. Antimicrobial resistance concept