Mapping Twenty Years of Antimicrobial Resistance Research Trends

C.F. Luz*, J.M. van Niekerk, J. Keizer, N. Beerlage-de Jong, L.M.A. Braakman-Jansen, A. Stein, B. Sinha, J.E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen, C. Glasner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper

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Background Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat to health and healthcare. In response to the growing AMR burden, research funding also increased. However, a comprehensive overview of the research output, including conceptual, temporal, and geographical trends, is missing. Therefore, this study uses topic modelling, a machine learning approach, to reveal the scientific evolution of AMR research and its trends, and provides an interactive user interface for further analyses.

Methods Structural topic modelling (STM) was applied on a text corpus resulting from a PubMed query comprising AMR articles (1999-2018). A topic network was established and topic trends were analysed by frequency, proportion, and importance over time and space.

Findings In total, 88 topics were identified in 158616 articles from 166 countries. AMR publications increased by 450% between 1999 and 2018, emphasizing the vibrancy of the field. Prominent topics in 2018 were Strategies for emerging resistances and diseases, Nanoparticles, and Stewardship. Emerging topics included Water and environment, and Sequencing. Geographical trends showed prominence of Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the WHO African Region, corresponding with the MDR-TB burden. China and India were growing contributors in recent years, following the United States of America as overall lead contributor.

Interpretation This study provides a comprehensive overview of the AMR research output thereby revealing the AMR research response to the increased AMR burden. Both the results and the publicly available interactive database serve as a base to inform and optimise future research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021




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