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Current newsletter

9 – 15 April 2018

This week’s AMR Centre Newsletter was compiled by Sam Willcocks, Biological and Pharmacological Sciences Disciplinary Head.

Spotlight 

Advice on the use of antibiotics to treat tuberculosis

‘Antimicrobial resistance’ is a useful term, but the readership of this newsletter does not need reminding that it is a broad term that somewhat oversimplifies the science.

Clinically, ‘breakpoints’ are used to define a minimum inhibitory concentration above which a pathogen is susceptible to a given drug. However, this too is an over-simplification, because breakpoints are influenced by factors such as carriage and expression of resistance genes, the site of infection, the pharmacokinetics of the drug and so on. Nor is a pathogen simply ‘resistant’ or ‘sensitive’, as this depends upon the dose of antibiotic to which it is exposed.

The clinical breakpoint is used to guide treatment, and is not a fixed characteristic of either drug nor pathogen. For this reason, regular reviews are important to ensure that breakpoint values are kept up to date. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently published a technical report based on a systematic review performed by Dr Koser and colleagues to update the current advice on the use of antibiotics to treat tuberculosis. Twenty breakpoints have been revised, including to fluoroquinolones and to second-line agents and add-ons such as bedaquiline. The report considers the response of different clinical isolates to treatment, as well as the impact of the chosen methodology for culturing the bacteria, such as 7H11 media vs Bactec mycobacterial growth indicator tube (MGIT) assay.

News: LSHTM

AMR Short Course
16 – 20 July 2018 – Short course | AMR: a multidisciplinary approach. This course equips delegates with the knowledge, conceptual frameworks and tools necessary to understand and respond to the complex threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The course learning reflects a One Health perspective that incorporates multiple disciplines, multiple sectors and national and international level considerations. Apply here.

Symposium applications open | Fresh perspectives: Social Research on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) will bring together researchers who are attending to ‘the social’ in AMR, including anthropologists, sociologists, historians, geographers, artists, philosophers and other related scholars. While many are engaged in productive interdisciplinary work within their every day research, this symposium presents an opportunity for concentration on disciplinary work within the social sciences and humanities. Formulated as a work-in-progress event, we hope attendees will exchange ideas about approaches and theory that have been developed and applied in their on-going social research on AMR.

You can learn more about the symposium on the AMIS website, including the relevant deadlines, as well as download the abstract submission and participation form. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line to AnthropologyAMR@lshtm.ac.uk

Deadline 30 April 2018 for oral/poster presentation participation, or 6 July 2018 for attendance participation.

Clinical Case Challenge on Diagnostics and AMR
Submit your clinical cases on diagnostics and AMR to be used in medical education and shared online – and win prizes! Guidelines for submissions are described below. The final deadline for cases is 1 May 2018. The International Diagnostics Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is the main organizer of this contest.

Details: http://www.seshglobal.org/Clinical-Case-Challenge.
Questions: Contact our challenge coordinator at AMRcasechallenge@gmail.com

Deadline: 1 May 2018.

AMR resources

ABU on Farms
The AACTING Consortium has published Guidelines for the collection, analysis and reporting of farm-level antimicrobial use, in the scope of antimicrobial stewardship:

Stewardship Book
BSAC has published a new free e-book on Antimicrobial Stewardship. The book “provides a GLOBAL and highly PRACTICAL primer on the wise use of ANTIBIOTICS by applying the principles of stewardship to a wide range of professions, populations, and clinical/care settings”

Events: LSHTM

The AMR Centre lunchtime seminar series

These seminars will be held at least on the first Tuesday of each month at 12:45.
Please visit the Events page on our website for more information. 

Upcoming event:

Missed a seminar?

Recordings of some of our past seminars can be accessed through the links below:

Related events

  • 14 June 2018 – RESIST: LSHTM will be hosting a one-day workshop on the role of modelling in AMR. Gwen Knight, Katie Atkins, Laith Yakob and Nick Davies are finalising the programme; further details on speakers and how to sign up will be posted in near-future newsletters.

Watch again:
If you’re wondering how antibiotics have become part of our social and material infrastructure, watch Dr Clare Chandler’s paper ‘What is care in the wake of antibiotics? Experiences of global health in low resource settings’ as part of the Ethics and AMR conference in Gothenburg.

Events: External

 

The Science Museum’s exhibit on “Superbugs: the Fight for our Lives”, advised by AMR Centre members, is on-going.

23 May 2018, 8:30 – 17:00, Geneva. International Global Health and AMR Workshop, World Federation of Public Health Associations. A one-day intensive training course, consisting of interactive presentations, discussions and practical problem exercises engaging in lively and productive discussions and contributions from all professionals engaged in antimicrobial resistance. Entrance is FREE but registration is mandatory online

22–25 June 2018. 5th International OneHealth Conference. The 5th International One Health Congress is the world’s premier conference for the worldwide One Health community. Join the congress organizers, Prof. Ab Osterhaus and Prof. John Mackenzie, and One Health advocates from all over the globe in Saskatoon for four days of lectures, debates, workshops and symposia. Online abstract submission closed.

16–21 September 2018. AMR in Bacterial Pathogens course; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya. The aim of this course is to address some of these challenges by improving the knowledge and skills of individuals interested in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens in Africa. Application deadline 20 April 2018.

23–28 September 2018. Medicine Quality and Public Health Conference; Oxford, UK. The Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) is organising the first-ever dedicated academic conference on Medicine Quality & Public Health that will bring together people from a diversity of sectors working in this field. It will bring together people from sectors such as: public health, national regulatory authorities, pharmacy, biomedical, chemistry, law, ethics, cultural and social sciences, the pharmaceutical industry, international organisations, NGOs, national procurement centres, and internet and pharmaceutical forensics. The deadline for registration is 31 August 2018, with early bird rates until 16 April. The final date for abstract submission is 1 June 2018.

26–28 November 2018. EFFORT against antimicrobial resistance. The European EFFORT consortium will hold the International Conference “Antimicrobial Resistance in the Food Chain – From Science to Policy”. Please save the dates!

You can visit our website for further external events that you might find of interest.

Student blog

To find out more about the Student blog or the team behind it, you can contact the AMR Centre Student Representative, James Cross.

Featured publication

Comparison of different treatments for isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis: an individual patient data meta-analysis
Fregonese F, Ahuja SD, Akkerman OW, Arakaki-Sanchez D, Ayakaka I, Baghaei P, Bang D, Bastos M, Benedetti A, Bonnet M, Cattamanchi A, Cegielski P, Chien JY, Cox H, Dedicoat M, Erkens C, Escalante P, Falzon D, Garcia-Prats AJ, Gegia M, Gillespie SH, Glynn JR, Goldberg S, Griffith D, Jacobson KR, Johnston JC, Jones-López EC, Khan A, Koh WJ, Kritski A, Lan ZY, Lee JH, Li PZ, Maciel EL, Galliez RM, Merle CSC, Munang M, Narendran G, Nguyen VN, Nunn A, Ohkado A, Park JS, Phillips PPJ, Ponnuraja C, Reves R, Romanowski K, Seung K, Schaaf HS, Skrahina A, Soolingen DV, Tabarsi P, Trajman A, Trieu L, Banurekha VV, Viiklepp P, Wang JY, Yoshiyama T, Menzies D.
Lancet Respir Med 2018; 6(4):265-275 PubMed

This week’s featured LSHTM publication assesses the impact of different treatment options on isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis. The authors conducted a systematic review and individual patient data meta analysis from thousands of cases. They conclude that in isoniazid-resistant TB cases, the addition of a fluoroquinalone was associated with better success, whereas addition of streptomycin was associated with less treatment success, but that there is a need for randomised trials to identify the optimum regimen for therapy.

Publications: LSHTM

Comparison of different treatments for isoniazid-resistant tuberculosis: an individual patient data meta-analysis
Fregonese F, Ahuja SD, Akkerman OW, Arakaki-Sanchez D, Ayakaka I, Baghaei P, Bang D, Bastos M, Benedetti A, Bonnet M, Cattamanchi A, Cegielski P, Chien JY, Cox H, Dedicoat M, Erkens C, Escalante P, Falzon D, Garcia-Prats AJ, Gegia M, Gillespie SH, Glynn JR, Goldberg S, Griffith D, Jacobson KR, Johnston JC, Jones-López EC, Khan A, Koh WJ, Kritski A, Lan ZY, Lee JH, Li PZ, Maciel EL, Galliez RM, Merle CSC, Munang M, Narendran G, Nguyen VN, Nunn A, Ohkado A, Park JS, Phillips PPJ, Ponnuraja C, Reves R, Romanowski K, Seung K, Schaaf HS, Skrahina A, Soolingen DV, Tabarsi P, Trajman A, Trieu L, Banurekha VV, Viiklepp P, Wang JY, Yoshiyama T, Menzies D.
Lancet Respir Med 2018; 6(4):265-275 PubMed

Please visit our website for a full list of publications.

Publications: External

Antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment plants: Tackling the black box
Manaia CM, Rocha J, Scaccia N, Marano R, Radu E, Biancullo F, Cerqueira F, Fortunato G, Iakovides IC, Zammit I, Kampouris I, Vaz-Moreira I, Nunes OC.
Environ Int. 2018 Apr 4;115:312-324. PubMed

Funding opportunities

 

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been awarded two MRC Skills Development Fellowships (SDFs) for 2018. SDFs are three year training fellowships that seek to support early–career researchers to consolidate and further develop their skills in an MRC priority area (see below). It also aims to support researchers who wish to transform their career by developing new skills in a priority area.

These prestigious awards will provide three years’ salary support at the Research Fellow or Assistant Professor level and up to £15,000 total in running expenses. They will enable appointees to establish their own research programmes at LSHTM. Candidates require the support of an LSHTM academic sponsor; applicants should liaise with their proposed sponsor when developing their application and obtain a letter of support prior to submitting their application.
https://www.mrc.ac.uk/skills-careers/fellowships/skills-development-fellowships/
This programme is led by Professor Steven Cummins and aims to build capacity in skills shortage areas relevant to the MRC’s remit as detailed below:

Scientific priority areas:
1) Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Theme leads: Professors James Carpenter and Neil Pearce)
2) Mathematical Modelling (Theme lead: Professor John Edmunds)
3) Health Economics (Theme lead: Professor Richard Grieve)

Please note fellowships can be held across all faculties at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Further details on the application process can be found on the call website.

Deadline: 9 April 2018

One studentship is available at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) for 2018-19 through the Medical Research Foundation (MRF) PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research. The studentship at the LSHTM is being offered under the Anitmicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research theme ‘Behaviour within and beyond the health setting’.

Deadline: 15 April 2018

This is an opportunity to join a cohort of 150 PhD students studying AMR at UK Universities (funded by any source, including overseas and self-funded students). The Medical Research Foundation has invested £2.85m (to date) to create a national training programme designed to help train new researchers to understand AMR in in a way that crosses traditional boundaries between research disciplines and sectors, and to explore ways of tackling AMR by developing a strong and active network of researchers with multidisciplinary skills who will be able to develop, undertake and, potentially, lead AMR research in the future.

Deadline: 30 April 2018

The UK Cross Research Council AMR Initiative and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are pleased to invite proposals to the China-UK AMR Partnership Hubs under the umbrella of the Newton Fund.

Closing Date for investigators to indicate their intention to submit a proposal: 30 April 2018

 

A competition has opened that will make up to £10 million available to UK academic and industrial organisations to work in a consortium with Chinese partners.

They are looking for projects which:

  1. explore opportunities from traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment or prevention of infectious bacterial diseases in humans or animals;
  2. advance the discovery of new agents to prevent or treat drug-resistant bacterial infection in humans or livestock. New agents could include small molecule drugs, vaccines, antibodies or other biological products;
  3. identify new agents that will increase the feed energy conversion in livestock. This should be done without use of antibiotics or hormones;
  4. use modelling and prospective and retrospective clinical studies to maximise the clinical utility of current antibiotics. Focus especially on those against drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Projects must aim to improve the prognosis of patients with extensively drug-resistant infections; and
  5. improve capabilities for the diagnosis, treatment selection and surveillance of bacterial infections and antibacterial resistance.

Important information:

  • to lead a project you need to be a UK-based business of any size. Additionally, there must be at least one academic partner from the UK, one Chinese business and one academic from China in a project team
  • projects should last no more than 3 years
  • up to £750,000 is on offer per project on the UK side. On the Chinese side, funding of up to 5 million Renminbi will be made available
  • you could get up to 70% of your project costs
  • there will be a webinar for UK and Chinese bidders to find out more and to meet potential partners

Deadline: 6 June 2018

The School’s Small Grants Scheme provides up to £1000 for School staff and Research Degree students in any Faculty to plan and deliver public engagement projects about our research.For information about how to apply, including the Grant Application Form, as well as where to go for advice and support please log on to the School’s intranet.

Deadline: 15 June 2018, 5pm (UK time)

Please contact the Strategic Research Office for help and advice on applying for funding.

For further information on the above and other AMR funding schemes, see our website.

Submitting a grant application?

We’d love to hear from you

If you have applied for, or won, a grant award related to AMR research, please do let us know. We’d love to hear from you so that we can celebrate the hard work of our members.

Job opportunities

Animal Health Officer
The post is located in the Animal Health Service (AGAH). The FAO Animal Health Service (AGAH) is primarily concerned with aspects related to the prevention, detection and timely response to health threats of animal origin (zoonotic diseases, transboundary animal diseases, production diseases, diseases of wildlife, arthropod-borne diseases, food safety, antimicrobial resistance) that affect public health or efficiencies, and sustainable livestock production. AGAH capacity development work ensures the strengthening of veterinary systems at national and regional level and bridges agriculture development, public health and ecosystem health with a particular focus on smallholder agricultural production.

Application information.

Application deadline: 17 April 2018