Tackling AMR: A call for a(n even) more integrated and transdisciplinary approach between planetary health and earth scientists

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Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global, one health and planetary health challenge. Links between climate change, antibiotic use, and the emergence of antibiotic resistance have been well documented, but less attention has been given to the impact(s) of earth systems on specific bacterial livestock diseases at a more granular level. Understanding the precise impacts of climate change on livestock health—and in turn the use of antibiotics to address that ill-health—is important in providing an evidence base from which to tackle such impacts and to develop practical, implementable, and locally acceptable solutions within and beyond current antibiotic stewardship programs. In this paper, we set out the case for better integration of earth scientists and their specific disciplinary skill set (specifically, problem-solving with incomplete/fragmentary data; the ability to work across four dimensions and at the interface between the present and deep/geological time) into planetary health research. Then, using a case study from our own research, we discuss a methodology that makes use of risk mapping, a common methodology in earth science but less frequently used in health science, to map disease risk against changing climatic conditions at a granular level. The aim of this exercise is to argue that, by enabling livestock farmers, veterinarians, and animal health observatories to better predict future disease risk and risk impacts based on predicted future climate conditions, earth science can help to provide an evidence base from which to influence policy and develop mitigations. Our example—of climate conditions’ impact on livestock health in Karnataka, India—clearly evidences the benefit of integrating earth scientists into planetary health research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number66
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022


  • Climate change
  • antibiotic resistance
  • earth science
  • risk mapping
  • transdisciplinarity

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