SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Diagnostics to Manage Antimicrobial Resistance

Study of European Stakeholder Appraisals of the Diagnostics needed to Manage Antimicrobial Resistance

Across the world dangerous microbes are becoming resistant to the drugs that we have used for many years to protect us from potentially fatal infections. A number of important initiatives are underway to address the challenge of growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to antibiotics, but these mostly focus on the development of new drugs. This research project focuses on the development and use of diagnostics to address the AMR challenge. In theory, diagnostics can aid the management of antibiotic resistance by facilitating more targeted antibiotic use. However, the development and use of appropriate technologies is slow and ineffective. 


This project aims to discover what sort of diagnostic tests are needed to help detect and manage Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The team are also investigating the sorts of policy incentives that are needed to bring useful diagnostic tests into widespread use more quickly.

The Study, funded by The Antimicrobial Resistance Cross-Council Initiative, involves seven EU nations and facilitates stakeholder appraisals of the types of diagnostics perceived as most desirable in order to meet the AMR challenge. The project will demonstrate clearly and transparently where there is consensus, divergence and uncertainty in relation to support for particular diagnostics and why, as well as showing whether there is consensus or not within and across groups and countries.

The research will help a range of stakeholders, particularly research funders and small firms developing diagnostics, who are often unable to undertake or access such analysis themselves. The project aims to encourage an increase in funding and policy support for the development of viable approaches, and therefore accelerate development of the diagnostics that health care systems need.

Key objectives

  1. To provide knowledge of the types of diagnostics that are needed and the scenarios that can deliver these within European healthcare systems.
  2. To provide a rigorous analytical method to facilitate the exploration of scenarios that can bring diagnostics for AMR into use.
  3. To engage with stakeholders and communicate the project findings widely.


SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
Michael Hopkins m.m.hopkins@sussex.ac.uk 
Josie Coburn josie.coburn@sussex.ac.uk
Frederique Lang f.lang@sussex.ac.uk

Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Martin Llewelyn M.J.Llewelyn@bsms.ac.uk

Office of Health Economics, London
Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz jmestre-ferrandiz@ohe.org
Grace Marsden GMarsden@ohe.org

If you are interested in how diagnostics can best be developed and used to tackle AMR in different healthcare systems, and/or would be willing to participate in our research, please do contact Frederique Lang.