Global Challenge - Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a global problem which affects everyone, threatening our ability to treat common infections at an unprecedented rate. It is the responsibility of government, industry and academia to work together to minimise the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. The world health organisation (WHO) aptly sums up this clear and present danger:

“Without urgent, coordinated action, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries, which have been treatable for decades, can once again kill."

As an academic community, we can help to combat this global challenge by gaining an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind these pathogens. Understanding how pathogens cause infections, persist in the host, evade the immune system and transmit back to the environment will eventually culminate in new interventions which will reduce or surpass the need for traditional antibiotics.

In our department we have multiple groups working on some of the most challenging pathogens from across the globe, including:

  • Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) plagues clinical environments in the UK
  • Candida albicans; pathogenic fungus responsible for thrush and candidiasis; a lethal infection common in immuno-compromised patients
  • Enterococcus faecalis; causes a variety of infections in humans, including endocarditis, septicaemia, urinary tract infections and meningitis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis; extensively drug-resistant TB has been reported in 100 countries from all over the globe
  • Campylobacter jejuni; the world’s leading cause of gastroenteritis
  • Clostridium difficile; long term colitis commonly brought on by broad spectrum antibiotic treatment of an unrelated infection
  • Escherichia coli; common cause of gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections


Explore our Microbiology research theme to find out more about our work and how you could become part of our research community.


Additional resources

For further reading on the challenge of antibiotic resistance (external links):

WHO – Antimicrobial Resistance

NHS – Antibiotic Awareness