World Antimicrobial Awareness Week: Faculty roundup

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a gloved hand holding a pink petri dish

It's World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, an annual global event aimed at raising awareness about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and promoting best practices to curb its emergence and spread. Over the past 12 months, our Faculty has been actively contributing to the fight against one of the greatest threats to human and animal health. Here's a recap of our 2023 AMR news and blog research highlights:

Launch of CAMO-Net

This year marked the launch of the Centres for Antimicrobial Optimisation Network (CAMO-Net), a global research consortium led by Professor Alison Holmes (ISMIB). CAMO-Net brings together research teams from Liverpool and Imperial College London in the UK, along with institutions in Uganda, South Africa, and Brazil, all working collaboratively to address the impact of AMR on human health.

New global collaboration

The University and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on new projects addressing antimicrobial resistance for the benefit of public health. Building on their work since 2018 to advance treatment options for newborns with sepsis, this collaboration has laid the foundation for a new global clinical trial on neonatal sepsis. 

Prestigious fellowship award

Dr Esmita Charani (ISMIB) received a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship, a four-year grant supporting her research in applying social sciences to tackle the challenges of AMR. Based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr Charani's research explores the intersectionality of power dynamics, hierarchies, and health-seeking behaviours in hospital settings.

The evolution and spread of Shigella

Experts at the Faculty's NIHR HPRU in Gastrointestinal Infections led an international collaboration investigating the genetic makeup and global spread of Shigella sonnei, a multidrug-resistant sexually transmissible bacterium. This research aims to better understand the drivers behind the current epidemic and predict and prevent future outbreaks. PhD student Lewis Mason (IVES) told us more about his work on the project in a Becoming an Expert blog.

AI in clinical practice

In an innovative approach, researchers from the Faculty explored the use of the AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT in making decisions about prescribing antibiotics to patients. Published in The Lancet, their findings indicate that while artificial intelligence cannot replace the role of a family doctor, there is clear potential for technology to play a role in clinical practice.

To learn more about the University's efforts in addressing the challenge of AMR, visit our dedicated AMR Week feature page.