Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship: Developing culturally appropriate Interventions

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Dr Wendy Thompson, Dr Lucy O'Malley, Prof Lucie Bryne-Davis  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Antimicrobial resistance is a global health and patient safety emergency driven by the unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs. Dentistry is responsible for around 10% of antibiotics prescribed across global healthcare, with up to 80% unnecessary of inappropriate use identified in some countries (including the UK and US).

As highlighted in the FDI World Dental Federation’s white paper on the essential role of dental teams in reducing antimicrobial resistance, our research has identified that interventions to optimise dental antimicrobial prescribing need to be tailored to the specific context. For example, low and middle income countries are likely to need different interventions compared to high income countries. Previous research has also identified the importance of culture on decision making regarding antibiotics.


  • To understand antimicrobial stewardship interventions implemented around the World, through a realist review of their context, mechanism and outcome.
  • To investigate the prevalence of, and factors influencing, unnecessary or inappropriate dental antibiotic prescribing in at least one country outside of the UK.
  • To explore in more detail cultural issues relevant in that country’s context.
  • To develop a behaviour change intervention to safely reduce dental antibiotic prescribing in that country.


This project will include a realist evaluation to understand how antimicrobial stewardship interventions from around the world work, including contextually important elements. Next a case study of at least one country outside of the UK (possibly a low and middle income country) will explore the extent of overprescribing of dental antibiotics and factors influencing it. Finally, an evidence-based, behaviour science-informed, culturally-appropriate intervention will be developed to optimise dental antibiotic prescribing in that country.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience are particularly encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website”

Education (11) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26) Psychology (31) Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (View Website).


Thompson W, Williams D, Pulcini C, Sanderson S, Calfron P, Verma, M. The essential role of the dental team in reducing antibiotic resistance. Geneva: FDI World Dental Federation; 2020.
Thompson W, Teoh L, Hubbard CC, Marra F, Patrick DM, Mamun A, Campbell A, Suda KJ. Patterns of dental antibiotic prescribing in 2017: Australia, England, United States, and British Columbia (Canada). Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021
Thompson W, Tonkin-Crine S, Pavitt SH, McEachan RRC, Douglas GVA, Aggarwal VR, Sandoe JAT. Factors associated with antibiotic prescribing for adults with acute conditions: an umbrella review across primary care and a systematic review focusing on primary dental care, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2019