Caliper measuring a zone of clearance around an antibiotic disk.

One Health AMR

CowAntimicrobials have been an important pillar of our medical system since the 1930s. In addition, they play an enormous role in our food-supply system as they are used to treat, control, and prevent disease in agricultural animals that improve production, health, and reproduction. Agriculture accounts for about 82% of antibiotic use in Canada.

However, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming an increasingly concerning global issue. There were about 4.95 million deaths associated with bacterial AMR in 2019 . This is a major problem for the stability of our health care system!

Each time that an antibiotic is used in agriculture, it puts pressure on bacteria to adapt via developing resistance. Thus, the more antibiotic we use, the faster resistance develops. However, banning antibiotics from agricultural use is not an option. Most food production systems have become adapted to the routine use of antibiotics and will have a difficult time maintaining productivity in the absence of antibiotics, this is a major problem in terms of food security.

At McGill, we are attempting to solve this problem through research and innovation.



Antimicrobial Resistance, the Microbiome, and the Next 30 Years

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