GW4 Adopts One Health Strategy to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

The World Health Organization cites antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one of the most significant risks facing the world. AMR threatens global health and development because it impacts human, animal and plant health as well as our environment, water safety and food security.

The GW4 AMR Alliance was created to address this global challenge and become the leading interdisciplinary AMR “One Health” research consortium in the UK, recognized worldwide.

Today’s launch event showcases GW4’s interdisciplinary antimicrobial resistance research collaborations and some of the One Health AMR projects and programs undertaken by GW4 teams and their collaborators.

Antimicrobial resistance when bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections become resistant to existing antimicrobial drugs is a growing global societal threat, as there is no corresponding increase in new antibiotics or new therapies to help treat them. patient infections.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed more emphasis on the AMR “pandemic”. Antimicrobial use, which is behind the emergence of AMR, has increased in many intensive care units around the world as clinicians mitigated the development of secondary bacterial and fungal infections in critically ill hospitalized patients.

AMR is a slower “silent pandemic”, but it requires urgent action now to stop the expansion of resistance and find drugs to treat these infections.

The GW4 AMR Alliance builds on and enhances the strong and diverse AMR research portfolio of GW4 universities. Its vision is to combat AMR using a One Health approach and to be the partner of choice for future funding of AMR research consortia to help mitigate the urgent threat of AMR.

Dr Timothy Jinks, Program Manager for Drug Resistant Infections at the Wellcome Trust, who delivers the keynote address, said: “Containing and controlling antimicrobial resistance requires collaborative, long-term, interdisciplinary and sustainable research, adopting a comprehensive One Health approach. It is great news that the GW4 AMR Alliance is launching to increase the understanding, development and implementation of effective interventions. “

GW4’s proven academic excellence in AMR research across all disciplines and institutions is demonstrated by a portfolio of AMR relevant research funding of over £ 40million.

Our strategic initiative is in full agreement with the recent communiqué of the G7 health ministers (June 4) which underscored the need to act against the growing pandemic of antimicrobial resistance with “clear leadership, bold scientific action and One Health approach, “recognizing and understanding that the health of humans, animals, plants and their shared environment are inextricably linked.”

Dr Joanna Jenkinson, Alliance Director, GW4

GW4 has fostered large-scale collaborative AMR projects to achieve more than our institutions can individually. We are also proud to support our Early Career Investigators (RCTs) through our Crucible program on “Interdisciplinary Approaches to AMR” and opportunities to apply for seed funding.

We are delighted that a new ECR AMR community, also supported by our GW4 Generator Award funding program, is contributing today to a presentation at the launch of their project to find new avenues of antibiotics. “

AMR disproportionately affects low- and middle-income countries and the research presented today demonstrates our global reach with ongoing GW4 collaborative projects in Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Argentina, India and here in the UK. United. GW4 researchers are exploring the causes of the emergence of AMR in different contexts, for example the environment (especially in aquatic systems from industrial and domestic waste), livestock, aquaculture and human care. health.

Identifying the drivers of AMR will help change them by informing policies and implementing interventions to mitigate this growing threat. In the UK alone, there was a 9% increase in deaths from drug-resistant infections between 2017 and 2018.

GW4 AMR Alliance Chairman Professor Eshwar Mahenthiralingam (Cardiff University) said: “This is a very exciting and timely consortium bringing together the considerable strengths of AMR research at GW4 universities to work as a cohesive unit to advance our understanding of, and develop new interventions to contain and control AMR. “

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