Video: Why the sex pilus is so dangerous - horizontal gene transfer

Horizontal gene transfer allows bacteria to swap genes, these speeds up the acquisition of new traits like antibiotic resistance. There are 3 main mechanisms: transduction, transformation and conjugation. But where are human pathogens picking up these genes? In our bodies? In rivers and oceans? Research funded by the NERC might help us find out.

Exeter takes a distinctively integrated approach to generating internationally impactful research on the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR is emerging in both bacteria and fungi as well as parasitic diseases such as malaria.

Our research ranges from the fundamental science of bacterial and fungal evolution to focusing on the environmental spread of resistant bacteria and fungi and the social implications of national and global antimicrobial usage and policies to tackle the problem. Our interdisciplinary approach unites experts from across the scientific spectrum to drive forward innovation and discovery.

Video - Bacterial resistance and its impact on health

Professor Will Gaze from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health is conducting vital research into how bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics.