Global antimicrobial-resistance drivers: an ecological country-level study at the human–animal interface

Kasim Allel, Lucy Day, Alisa Hamilton, Leesa Lin, Luis Furuya-Kanamori, Catrin E. Moore, Thomas Van Boeckel, Ramanan Laxminarayan, Laith Yakob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a pressing, holistic, and multisectoral challenge facing contemporary global health. In this study we assessed the associations between socioeconomic, anthropogenic, and environmental indicators and country-level rates of AMR in humans and food-producing animals. Methods: In this modelling study, we obtained data on Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, third generation cephalosporins-resistant Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium AMR in humans and food-producing animals from publicly available sources, including WHO, World Bank, and Center for Disease Dynamics Economics and Policy. AMR in food-producing animals presented a combined prevalence of AMR exposure in cattle, pigs, and chickens. We used multivariable β regression models to determine the adjusted association between human and food-producing animal AMR rates and an array of ecological country-level indicators. Human AMR rates were classified according to the WHO priority pathogens list and antibiotic–bacterium pairs. Findings: Significant associations were identified between animal antimicrobial consumption and AMR in food-producing animals (OR 1·05 [95% CI 1·01–1·10]; p=0·013), and between human antimicrobial consumption and AMR specifically in WHO critical priority (1·06 [1·00–1·12]; p=0·035) and high priority (1·22 [1·09–1·37]; p<0·0001) pathogens. Bidirectional associations were also found: animal antibiotic consumption was positively linked with resistance in critical priority human pathogens (1·07 [1·01–1·13]; p=0·020) and human antibiotic consumption was positively linked with animal AMR (1·05 [1·01–1·09]; p=0·010). Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii, third generation cephalosporins-resistant Escherichia coli, and oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus all had significant associations with animal antibiotic consumption. Analyses also suggested significant roles of socioeconomics, including governance on AMR rates in humans and animals. Interpretation: Reduced rates of antibiotic consumption alone will not be sufficient to combat the rising worldwide prevalence of AMR. Control methods should focus on poverty reduction and aim to prevent AMR transmission across different One Health domains while accounting for domain-specific risk factors. The levelling up of livestock surveillance systems to better match those reporting on human AMR, and, strengthening all surveillance efforts, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries, are pressing priorities. Funding: None.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e291-e303
JournalThe Lancet Planetary Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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