Antimicrobial Resistance

The Growing Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
Pathogens that develop Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) pose an increasing threat to global health. The overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics have fueled the natural development of microbial resistance, transforming once-treatable infections into formidable adversaries that have become increasingly challenging, if not impossible, to treat. Climate change and rapid globalization may also contribute to the burden of AMR by allowing these resistant microorganisms to travel across borders.

AMR is already responsible for over 1.27 million deaths annually, a number predicted to surpass cancer-related deaths by 2050.

The number of bacterial pathogens that have become less sensitive or fully resistant to antibiotics,  including antimicrobials prescribed as second- and third-line treatments, is growing worldwide. Bacterial AMR contributes to about 5 million deaths annually and the WHO estimates this to increase to up to 10 million annually by 2050 (The Lancet [2022], IACG [2019]).

Vaccines: Illuminating A Vital Weapon to Combat AMR
Vaccines represent a vital part of the strategy to combat bacterial infections and are indispensable to controlling the global AMR crisis. Resistance to an antibiotic is frequently observed just a few years after its introduction. In contrast, resistance to vaccines targeting diverse virulence mechanisms is rare. Vaccines prevent infection before it ever takes hold, thereby averting illness., As they are pathogen-specific, they do not harm the natural human microbiome, which is a key component in controlling the innate immune system. The global health impact of vaccinations against microbial infections goes beyond limiting the development of resistance. For example, the widespread introduction of vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae (a serious AMR threat) has prevented millions of antibiotic prescriptions and reduced circulating levels of resistance strains.


Shigella is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes the shigellosis infection. It is an acute infection of the intestine that is caused by a member of the Shigella family. Shigella is very contagious and spreads quite easily through infected food and water due to poor hygienic conditions. Children under the age of 5 years are most likely to get shigellosis in low- and middle-income countries, but it can also be contracted at any age. Travelers to regions where Shigella is present can also get infected. Antibiotics represent the first treatment option for severely ill and high-risk patients. 

Why We Need a Shigella Vaccine
Shigella causes approximately 188 million infections, including 62.3 million cases in children under 5 years old. Around 600,000 people die from shigellosis each year, making it the second most common reason for diarrheal deaths worldwide. No widely available licensed Shigella vaccine currently exists.

Shigella’s ability to rapidly acquire resistance to antibiotics poses an escalating threat. The urgency to develop a Shigellavaccine is underscored by the growing incidences of multidrug-resistant strains that hinder the ability to proactively combat and prevent shigellosis, especially in low- and middle-income regions and vulnerable populations.

To explore our strategy and learn more about our Shigella vaccine candidate, Shigella4V (S4V), visit our Technologies page.


Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea. In addition to person-to-person transmission, the infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby and, if left untreated, could lead to permanent blindness in the newborn.

Why We Need a Gonorrhoea Vaccine
Gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. For over 80 years, Neisseria gonorrhoea has been steadily building resistance to all available antimicrobial treatments. Currently, only one recommended treatment option remains, and cases of treatment failures and local outbreaks are rising globally. This alarming trend emphasizes the urgent need for an innovative vaccine approach. Without this, untreatable cases of gonorrhoea could become widespread in just a few years.

To explore our strategy and learn more about our Gonorrhoea vaccine candidate, visit our Technologies page.


Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that can cause a spectrum of infections ranging from skin and soft tissue infections to severe conditions like pneumonia and bloodstream infections. It is the most dangerous of all Staphylococcal bacteria. It can spread through direct contact with an infected person by using a contaminated object or inhaling infected droplets that are dispersed by sneezing or coughing. While traditional antibiotic treatments, mainly oral therapies with intravenous administration for severe cases, have been the go-to solution, their efficacy has decreased due to the escalating challenge of antibiotic resistance.

Why We Need a Staph Vaccine
About 30% of the world’s population carry Staphylococcus aureus as part of the normal human microbiota. Most of the time, it does not cause sickness. However, anyone can develop an infection, which, if left untreated, can become severe or fatal. This bacterium is a leading cause of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)-related fatalities, with both community and hospital-acquired infections posing significant threats. The complexity of the disease and the range of target populations affected by the pathogen warrant a new approach to developing a vaccine against S. aureus.

We have in-licensed a Phase I-ready S. aureus vaccine candidate, LBT-SA7 (formerly IBT-V02), from AbVacc. To explore the technology underlying its development, refer to our Technologies page.