Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance constitutes a global burden and is one of the major threats to public health. Although the emergence of resistant microorganisms is a natural phenomenon, selection is driven by an excessive or inappropriate use of antimicrobials in health care and agricultural settings. With the looming prospect of current antimicrobials no longer being effective, understanding the resistance mechanisms of multidrug-resistant microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and parasites, as well as the development of novel antimicrobial agents to combat drug-resistant infections and the rapid diagnosis of resistance are major focuses of scientific investigation.

In this series of articles, Nature Reviews Microbiology explores the insights that have been gained from a flurry of research into the origin, evolution and spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens, the identification of resistance markers, the mechanistic links between the drug target and the associated resistant mutations, the need to improve quantitative risk assessment and the surveillance of resistance gene distribution, as well as the latest developments in antimicrobial drug discovery to produce the next generation of new, safe and effective antimicrobials.

Diverse microorganisms and drugs