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Antimicrobial resistance

Research projects on antibiotic resistance at SVA is focusing on veterinary medicine. Pathogens as well as harmless bacteria the constitutes the gut microflora are studied. Many germs can cause zoonotic diseases which is a term used for microbes that can be transmitted between animals and humans. For that reason, all research projects have a One Health approach to cover several aspects of antibiotic resistance.

Research with a One Health perspective

For more than 50 years, antibiotics have been used in human and veterinary medicine. In many countries outside the EU, antibiotics are also used to promote growth in animals. Antibiotics should be used only when needed and the selection of antibiotics to use should then be well guided to ensure maximum efficacy with minimum side effects (including resistance).

En hand håller upp en agarplatta med bakteriekultur
A researcher at SVA working in a microbiological laboratory. Photo: Magnus Aronson/SVA

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are emerging and cause diseases in people and animals. At the same time, a small number of truly new antibiotics reach the market which leaves veterinarians and clinicians with few treatment options. It is therefore imperative to curb the development of resistance.

Increased knowledge on resistance levels is crucial

Research on antibiotic resistance is a way to gain knowledge that is needed to take measures and develop strategies against the spread of resistant bacteria and resistance genes. Improved knowledge on how to treat animals optimally with antibiotics will improve animal health and reduce the total consumption. Development of surveillance programs and novel diagnostics tools will increase the knowledge on resistance levels, which is crucial information for selecting the optimal treatment strategy.

In addition to humans and animals, bacteria are also found in our environment. An understanding of bacterial presence and its role in different ecosystems, such as soil and water, is of importance. Finally, bacteria do not respect borders, and SVA is participating in several international research projects and collaborates with research institutes and universities overseas.

Last updated : 2023-01-11