World Antibiotic Awareness Week: Research in review

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Antimicrobial resistance is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments around the world as one of the greatest threats to human and animal health.

Each November, WHO’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Here we round up some of the news stories and features we’ve published over the last year that highlight how our researchers are working to tackle and prevent this important issue.

Superbug spread

A new European research project aiming to help tackle the emergence and spread of drug-resistant superbugs got underway at the Institute of Infection and Global Health. Led in Liverpool by Professor Aras Kadioglu, the project focuses on AMR in Streptococcus pneumoniae; a major human pathogen causing 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually due to invasive diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. Learn more...

On the farm

In the battle against the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, one industry, in particular, is coming under a lot of pressure. According to the WHO, approximately 80% of medically important antibiotics are used in the animal sector. Most of these medicines are used on healthy animals. As part of our podcast series we spoke to Professor Jonathan Rushton and Dr Lucy Coyne, a about the rise of antibiotic resistance and how farms are contributing to the problem. Learn more...

Snake venom

An innovative research project has set out investigate whether compounds used to treat snake venom and bee stings could provide an alternative to antibiotics in treating eye infection. Funded by the charity Fight for Sight, scientists at the Department of Eye and Vision Science are investigating alternative treatments for microbial keratitis, an infection of the cornea that can be serious if not treated and may eventually cause sight loss. Learn more...

New antibiotics

The Centre for Antimicrobial Pharmacodynamics (CAP) has begun a new project to help develop new antibiotics for multidrug-resistant bacteria. Antimicrobial pharmacodynamics is the branch of pharmacology that examines how a drug affects bacteria and is a requirement for the development of drug treatments.Initial research suggests that a new antibiotic called SPR206 may be safer and just as effective as colistin, which is currently a last resort for treatment of MDR bacteria in the NHS. Learn more...

Resistance in horses

“Antibiotic resistance is a global problem, which not only affects people, but also our much loved pets and horses. Should your horse get ill in the future it is important to understand why your vet may, or may not prescribe antibiotics.”

As part of our Becoming an Expert series, equine vet Cajsa Isgren told us about her PhD project looking at the emerging problem of antimicrobial resistance in hospitalised horses in the UK. Learn more...

Cutting unnecessary use

Researchers at the Institute of Infection and Global Health are developing a new commercial blood test to improve the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected meningitis. The £1.6m project, which is funded by the Medical Research Council and industrial partner Fast Track Diagnostics, could also help cut unnecessary antibiotic treatment – a practice that is indirectly contributing to the growing antimicrobial resistance crisis. Learn more...

World Antibiotic Awareness Week runs from 12-18 November 2018.

With over a century of discovery and translational research in infectious diseases, the University of Liverpool is a recognised leader in this field. Learn more about our research activities here.