Antimicrobial resistance

INITIATOR FUND

Project period: January 2017 – May 2017

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Dr Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern
Cardiff University: Professor Timothy Walsh
University of Exeter: Dr William Gaze

Project overview

Antimicrobial  resistance  (AMR)  has  been  identified  as  a  global  problem  requiring  urgent  and concerted multidisciplinary action (WHO AMR strategy and the O’Neill AMR Review commissioned by the UK government).

The problem of increasing antimicrobial resistance is primarily of concern within Global Challenges Research Framework 2. Sustainable health and well-being, however there are also challenges relating to 1. Secure and resilient food systems supported by sustainable agriculture and 4. Clean air, water and sanitation.

We are particularly interested in drawing on research strengths in GW4 partner universities in the area of antimicrobial resistance in environmental systems. We wish to explore  and  develop projects  for future collaborative  funding opportunities focused on using systems approaches to understand and tackle the problem of AMR in different environments and communities. We have identified potential synergies between genomic characterisation, environmental detection, novel sensors and transmission dynamic modelling between and within ecosystems of AMR determinants as areas of strength across the GW4 group, but which are not currently collaborating. Understanding the aspects of AMR transmission in different  environments is an  emerging  area  of research and is currently poorly understood. Research in this area will be crucial to identify interventions to prevent the global transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacterial strains (and also resistant fungal pathogens) which impact on global heath, food security, and economic and social wellbeing.

There is  significant  scope  to  bring  together  this  expertise  across  the  GW4  to  use  systems  approaches  to understanding  and  tackling  AMR  in  different  environments  and  communities  to  benefit both ODA countries and the UK.