Antimicrobial resistance in bioaerosols: towards a national surveillance strategy – summary

  28 October 2023

The Environment Agency plays a key role in monitoring air quality across the UK. In this project we reviewed what information is available to inform the design of a monitoring strategy to look for antimicrobial resistant (AMR) microorganisms in the atmosphere. We considered the decisions that must be made in designing such a network, reviewed current knowledge and knowledge gaps, and tested some of the available sampling tools under field conditions to assess their practicality and operating costs.

The project identified methods suitable for sampling airborne microorganisms to capture any that are resistant to one or more antimicrobials in the atmosphere, and these have been costed. However, the authors felt that there is too little data at present to design a surveillance network giving statistically reliable results on likely human exposure. We therefore recommend a staged approach to surveillance development, addressing current knowledge gaps and so ensuring that subsequent design steps can meet their intended purpose.

Further reading: UK Environment Agency
Author(s): UK Environment Agency
Clean Environment  


Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre



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