Marginalisation and the microbe: how to mobilise around antimicrobial resistance without increasing social inequalities


  • Dr Catherine Will

    University of Sussex

Project summary

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasingly appearing in common bacterial infections. Responses include more careful use of antibiotics, but attempts to preserve their effectiveness could exacerbate existing health inequalities. In the short term, the unintended victims could be people who are already disadvantaged in relation to healthcare. 

We will compare past, present and evolving responses to infections in sexual and reproductive health, including those more likely to affect groups who have been marginalised due to a combination of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, poverty and class. 

We will research responses to AMR in the UK and USA, looking at infections that are more and less visible. Careful comparisons of action by policy makers, scientists, healthcare professionals – and patients where relevant – will be used to analyse of political and social factors shaping this field, and the different ways of responding to inequality and stigma.