Antimicrobial Resistance Centre

Inspiring innovation in AMR research through interdisciplinary and international engagements.

The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Centre


AMR is a threat to life and healthcare globally. With increasing levels of international concern about AMR, we need high quality research and evidence to guide action. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is unique in the breadth of disciplines used to meet this complex challenge. These range from microbiology and clinical medicine to social studies and economics. The School’s Antimicrobial Resistance Centre, launched in 2016, will foster connections between these scientific approaches, generating innovative approaches to science and policy. [More]

The Centre is based on five disciplinary pillars:

 

Seminar | Resistant Microbes and Precarious Lives: Aquaculture health practices and their social and material determinants.

Summary

This seminar presents field evidence and experience in Bangladesh that examines the country’s export-led aquaculture practices and associated therapeutic applications. In the southwest of Bangladesh farmers earn a precarious living farming shrimp and prawn in aquatic environments harbouring novel pathogens, and in a state of near permanent disease.

Over the past four decades development programmes, market forces and global economic management policy have all encouraged the conversion from rice paddy and mangrove forest to aquaculture ponds across a vast geographic expanse in order to generate foreign cash reserves and improve rural livelihoods. The experience of the local economy transformation (with both negative and positive impacts) extended to coastal ecologies, in which water, soil and pond microbiomes were also transformed. Oceanic temperatures, increasing salinity and international damming upstream further contribute to emergence of diseased aquatic systems, challenging the environments required for successful aquaculture and increasing the likelihood of antibiotic intervention. Population density, the intimacy of shared human and animal environments, and a dynamic and unpredictable hydrological system prone to extremes of drought and flooding provide conduits for emergence, rapid dissemination and distribution of transfer of drug-resistance genes. Thus, the situation encountered amounts to one that can be understood as a ‘reconfiguration of matters’ resulting from the contribution of wider spatial, managerial and non-human dynamics, rather than one that can be easily remedied by surveillance of antibiotics usage and behaviour alone. This is particularly pertinent as knowledge of the specific capabilities aquatic environments possess for offering selective resistance pressure increases (Taylor et al 2011).

As farmers grapple with increasingly hostile aquatic environments, national and international development programmes and in-country NGOs prioritise disease management by implementing organic solutions and introducing novel technologies to encourage diverse microbial and organic communities, remove pollutants and manage disease. Anecdotally, greater understanding of the processes that encourage good biotic environments results in greater production success; nevertheless a question mark hovers over the actual efficacy of these strategies.

Details

Speaker: Dr Andrea Butcher, University of Exeter

I completed my PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Aberdeen examined the intersection of religion, development and climate in Ladakh, North-West India. I then acted as teaching fellow in anthropology at the University of Exeter, where I continued to research and publish material on the relationship between religious and ceremonial governance, and the development encounter in the Himalaya. I am currently a postdoctoral research assistant for the University of Exeter’s geography department on an ESRC-funded multidisciplinary collaboration examining the socioeconomic drivers for antimicrobial use in Bangladesh’s aquaculture industry. I bring previous experience of economic progress and development, sustainability and environment, and disaster response to the project, as well as exploring novel avenues and methodologies in medical anthropology.

Date: 5 December 2017

Time: 1 – 2 pm

Venue: LG04, Tavistock Place

Come along!

Upcoming Events

News | New antibiotic class found to be effective against gonorrhoea in the lab

Closthioamide could be an alternative to drugs that are becoming less effective against ‘superbugs’. A route towards a much-needed new treatment for gonorrhoea is a step closer after a new class of antibiotic was found to be effective against the infection in a laboratory setting, according to a study published Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

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News | WASH roundtable

In June, the AMR Centre co-hosted a roundtable on the topic of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) with the SHARE Consortium. Bringing together a high-level group of experts from across institutions, including from WHO, DfID, DH, MRC, the World Allicance Against AMR, WaterAid and universities in the UK and Bangladesh, the event was highly productive and achieved its aims to push forward the research agenda for WASH and AMR. The roundtable moved beyond a purely microbiological framing and considered the differential risks and patterns associated with three domains of focus: household and community, Health Care Facilities (HCF), and agricultural settings.

Details & report download

Where humans and animals collide: Emerging infections and newfound resistance

Read LSHTM's latest feature article: Where humans and animals collide - Emerging infections and newfound resistance

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BLOG | World Malaria Day Symposium

Recent evidence of the emergence of Plasmodium falciparum strains showing reduced susceptibility to the front line artemisinin combination therapies (ACT) in Africa has highlighted the growing problem of antimalarial drug resistance. This symposium, hosted jointly by LSHTM Malaria Centre and Antimicrobial Resistance Centre on April 25th, explored these issues from a range of disciplinary perspectives including molecular biology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, modelling, social sciences, policy and global control efforts. Reported by: Sinwan Basharat, AMR Centre student liaison officer

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VIDEO | Rise and fall of the magic bullet

AMR Centre member Sam Willcocks walks us through the rise and fall of antibiotics, and shows us why we need to think carefully about how we harness new technology so that we can continue to do good.

Watch

BLOG | The United Nations AMR Forum

Global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly have signed a declaration that their 193 countries will take steps to rid the world of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It is only the fourth time in the history of the UN that a health topic has been on the General Assembly agenda.

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