Bibliometric analysis of global research output on antimicrobial resistance in the environment (2000–2019)

  22 March 2021

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health threat that requires a “One Health” approach. Of the One Health triad, the environmental component is the most dynamic and most neglected. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to assess and analyze global research activity on AMR in the environment.

This was a bibliometric descriptive study of publications on AMR in the environment. Publications were retrieved using SciVerse Scopus for the study period from 2000 to 2019. The search query was developed using terms and phrases related to the topic. The retrieved publications were analyzed for specific bibliometric indicators including annual growth, citation analysis, key players, research output for each world regions, research themes, and occurrences of different drug classes of antimicrobials. Visualization maps including research collaboration were created using VOSviewer program. The Hirsch (h) index was used to assess scientific impact.

There were 2611 research articles based on the implemented research query. The annual number of publications showed a steep increase from 2011 to 2019. The major research themes in the field were (1) dissemination and abundance of antibiotic-resistant genes and (2) detection of bacterial strains or antibiotic residues in various environmental isolates. The bulk of the retrieved articles (n = 899; 34.4%) originated from the European region. China led with 598 (22.9%) documents. Four of the top 10 active institutions were in China. The top 10 active countries had relatively inadequate international research collaboration. 

Scientific literature on the AMR in the environment has witnessed a steep growth lately with a leading role of China and Chinese institutions. Data on AMR in the environment need to be collected from all world regions including the Eastern Mediterranean and African regions through research collaboration and funding of research in this field.

Author(s): Waleed M. Sweileh & Ahmad Moh’d Mansour
Clean Environment  


Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre


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