Research Needs Identified in Reviews on Antimicrobial Resistance: A Systematic Review

Alex Bulteel

Name: Alexander Bulteel
School: Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Class of 2022. Varmus Global Scholar 2019
Mentor: Lawrence Stanberry, MD, PhD


Research on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is distributed across a wide range of academic fields. While each field contains important unanswered questions, these questions may not be known to those in other areas of AMR research, or to decision makers, who must design policies to combat AMR with a unified, One Health approach. In July 2019, we searched four databases for reviews related to AMR. In each review, we identified all gaps in knowledge described by the authors, typically in the Discussion or Conclusions section. We categorized these by research sector, as well as type of gap identified. A total of 60 reviews met inclusion criteria. 260 distinct knowledge gaps were identified. The largest number (88) came from the human health sector, with fewer concerning the environment, animals, plants, and food. The two most common types of gaps identified were those related to surveillance (61) and study methodology (48). While this review of reviews was limited in scope, it highlights pressing research needs related to AMR across the One Health spectrum, in particular: the dearth of surveillance data in some regions, limited understanding of the role of different AMR reservoirs, and the lack of demonstrated intervention strategies.