One Health: FAO, UNEP, WHO and WOAH launch research agenda for antimicrobial resistance

Interface addresses global health issues necessitating multisectoral, multidisciplinary response to AMR

By Deepak Bhati
Published: Tuesday 04 July 2023
Photo: iStock_

Four multilateral agencies have launched a priority research agenda on June 28, 2023 to better advocate for increased research and investment in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The ‘Quadripartite’ — comprising the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) — released the One Health Priority Research Agenda on Antimicrobial Resistance through a webinar.

The organisations work specifically in the areas of human, animal, plant, and environmental health.

On similar lines, WHO also launched a global research agenda for AMR in human health on June 22, 2023. The agenda prioritises 40 research topics for evidence generation to inform policy and interventions by 2030. 

It also aims to guide a variety of stakeholders in generating new evidence to address antimicrobial resistance, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries.

The agenda will serve as a guide for countries, research institutes and funding bodies to support One Health AMR research. It will also allow policymakers, researchers, and the multidisciplinary scientific community to collaborate across sectors.

It defined ‘One Health’ as an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimise the health of people, animals and ecosystems.

The concept acknowledges the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the larger environment, including ecosystems, are inextricably linked and interdependent. At this One Health interface, addressing global health issues necessitates a multisectoral, multidisciplinary response to AMR.

Using a mixed-methods approach, global experts identified five key pillars as well as three cross-cutting themes, namely gender, vulnerable populations, and sustainability, as follows:

 Photo: One Health Priority Research Agenda on Antimicrobial Resistance


This pillar focuses on the environment, plant, animal, and human sectors where AMR transmission, circulation and spread occur. This includes what drives this transmission across these areas, where these interactions occur, and the impact on different sectors.

Integrated surveillance

This pillar aims to identify cross-cutting priority research questions in order to improve common technical understanding and information exchange among One Health stakeholders. The surveillance aims for harmonisation, effectiveness, and implementation of integrated surveillance with a focus on LMICs.


This pillar focuses on programmes, practises, tools, and activities aimed at preventing, containing, or reducing the incidence, prevalence, and spread of AMR. This also calls for the best use of existing vaccines, as well as other One Health-related measures to reduce AMR.

Behavioural insights and change

The priority research areas under this pillar are concerned with comprehending behaviour across various groups and actors involved in the development and spread of AMR at the One Health interface. It focuses on research addressing human behaviour that affects AMR, including ways to combat it.

Economics and policy

From a One Health standpoint, this pillar addressed investment and action in AMR prevention and control. This pillar also takes into account the cost-effectiveness of an AMR investment case, financial sustainability, and long-term financial impact.

This research agenda aims to direct future research in One Health AMR with a focus on low-resource settings. The agenda also emphasises the importance of developing research capacity in LMICs, which will be critical for addressing research gaps and developing evidence.

The agenda at the regional and national levels requires tailoring and the development of specific research questions.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.