Learned Societies Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR)

A partnership of learned societies representing 75,000 scientists has come together to lead the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Stemming the rise of antimicrobial resistance is one of humanity’s great challenges. During his time as UK Prime Minister, David Cameron said antimicrobial resistance threatens to cast medicine “back into the dark ages”, while the UK Department of Health published a five-year antimicrobial resistance strategy in 2013. In response to this, seven UK learned societies have formed the Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR) to support actions that can mitigate this global challenge.

LeSPAR aims to provide a single, unified voice and mobilise the UK’s collective research community in order to enhance understanding and knowledge sharing between academia, industry, and clinicians. The group is focused on taking action, championing best practice and raising awareness of the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

LeSPAR will achieve these aims by:

  • Supporting researchers in creating, sharing and applying knowledge.
  • Organising focused events to enable networking and knowledge exchange, and to promote effective collaborations across disciplines and sectors.
  • Engaging with government and other funders to achieve policy and funding support for the antimicrobial research community and connecting expertise from our membership to policy makers.
  • Assembling information on relevant resources and meetings.

LeSPAR welcomes news of global political and pharmaceutical industry support for actions to tackle the threat of resistant infections. The G7 and G20 summits and the UN General Assembly have now agreed proactive steps to ensure collaboration between nations, accepting the recommendations of the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR and the UK AMR Review. In particular they have agreed:

  • Support for all countries to design and implement national action plans
  • Initiatives to stimulate research and development of new antimicrobial products
  • Public awareness and engagement activities

In line with these agreements, the pharmaceutical industry has published a roadmap with an emphasis on public–private partnership. This guides both the development of new drugs and the management of access to antimicrobials, where and when they are needed.

LeSPAR will continue to work with our collective community of experts to ensure actions are taken in support of these resolutions.


Biochemical Society
British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
British Pharmacological Society
Royal Society of Chemistry
Society for Applied Microbiology
Microbiology Society 
Royal Society of Biology

Collectively, these Societies represent around 75,000 scientists.