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11 – 17 December 2017

This week’s AMR Centre Newsletter was compiled by our guest editor, Gwen Knight, Assistant Professor in Antimicrobial Resistance and Mathematical Modelling. 


What are mathematical modellers doing about AMR? 

Last week, over 400 mathematical modellers of infectious disease dynamics met for the biennial conference, Epidemics. This year, for the first time, there were two sessions on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). There was also a plenary by Marc Bonten, which focused on whether there really is any evidence for the spread of AMR from livestock to humans. For his three examples, the answer was VanA may have had an animal origin in VRE, livestock associated MRSA is not clinically important and there’s no evidence for ESBL but its complex! This chimes well with trying to formulate a model of livestock driving clinical AMR – can we really expect to see many infections originating from meat that we cook?

Read more here.


LIDC Podcast | What is antibiotic resistance and why is it a serious global threat?

This episode of the London International Development Centre’s Podcast, ‘Development Matters’ explores antibiotic resistance with Dr Clare Chandler (Associate Professor in Medical Anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Dr. Lucy Brunton (Lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College). Listen here!

News: External

AMRSan Researcher Links Workshop 

Applications are now open for the AMRSan Researcher Links Workshop taking place at the Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai from 5 to 8 February 2018. The AMRSan workshop will aim to stimulate research collaborations between the UK and India by exploring how sustainable sanitation technologies can be employed in the reduction of the spread of antimicrobial resistance and is aimed at early career researchers.

The workshop is funded by the Newton Fund and the Royal Society of Chemistry. All participants’ travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Newton Researcher Links programme. Applications will be judged on how their professional research goals are aligned with the workshop objectives. For more information about the workshop aims, the programme and application process, please use the below links.

More information
Application form

Completed applications should be submitted by 5 pm on Sunday 31 December 2017 to Dr Lena Ciric at University College London (, the UK coordinator of the workshop. Please contact Dr Ciric if you have any queries. Closing date for applications: 5 pm (GMT) on Sunday 31 December 2017.

Events: LSHTM

The AMR Centre lunchtime seminar series

These seminars will be held on the first Tuesday of each month at 12:30.
Please visit the Events page on our website for more information.

Last week we heard from Andrea Butcher, from Exeter University which holds a Cross RCUK AMR pump primer grant (LINK), who told us about their work with shrimp and prawn fisheries in Bangladesh. We learned about the small role that antibiotics play in current practices and the concerns about the potential for their use to increase due to the emergence of diseased aquatic systems as a result of changes in oceanic temperatures, increasing salinity and international damming. Organic solutions and the introduction of novel technologies are being tested to encourage diverse microbial and organic communities, remove pollutants and manage disease, but efficacy of these strategies remains to be determined.

Upcoming seminars for 2018:

Missed a seminar?

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

Student event with UCL

Session 4 of 4 – Session 4 will discuss global policies and the importance of the one health approach for tackling AMR.

12 December 2017, 18:00, IOE-Bedford way (20) – in room 790, UCL.

Students for Global Health UCL will be running an introductory short course on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The interactive sessions given by researchers from UCL and LSHTM are free of charge, and LSHTM students are encouraged to attend. Students who complete all four sessions will be rewarded a certificate of attendance. If you have any questions, please contact:

Events: External

The Science Museum’s new exhibit on “Superbugs: the Fight for our Lives”, advised by AMR Centre members, launched on 9 Nov and is open through springtime 2018.

Coming up in 2018
19–21 March 2018. Challenges and new concepts in antibiotics research Institut Pasteur – Paris – we are organizing under the umbrella of the LabEx project “Integrated Biology of Infectious Diseases” (IBEID) directed by Pascale Cossart and Philippe Sansonetti. I invite you to save the date and to advertise this meeting within your teams. Registration and abstract submission are now opened –  registration deadline January 5, 2018 (Midnight, CET)

28 March 2018. Biopollution: Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment. This one-day symposium organised by the Environmental Chemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry explores the chemistry and biochemistry of antimicrobial resistance in the environment, the policy relating to it and its effects on human health. The 2018 ECG Distinguished Guest Lecture will be provided by Professor Joakim Larsson (University of Gothenburg). You can register for the event on the RSC website – early registration until 28 February.

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.

LSHTM featured publication

Addressing the unknowns of antimicrobial resistance: quantifying and mapping the drivers of burden
Knight GM, Costelloe C, Murray KA, Robotham JV, Atun R, Holmes AH.
Clin Infect Dis 2017; (): PubMed

This publication lays out a gap in the AMR research landscape and how to address it: how much AMR comes from where?

Publications: LSHTM

Supporting surveillance capacity for antimicrobial resistance: Laboratory capacity strengthening for drug resistant infections in low and middle income countries
Seale AC, Hutchison C, Fernandes S, Stoesser N, Kelly H, Lowe B, Turner P, Hanson K, Chandler CIR, Goodman C, Stabler RA, Scott JAG
Wellcome Open Res 2017; 2():91 PubMed

Methods for estimating the burden of antimicrobial resistance: a systematic literature review protocol
Naylor NR, Silva S, Kulasabanathan K, Atun R, Zhu N, Knight GM, Robotham J3
Syst Rev 2016; 5(1):187 PubMed

Addressing the unknowns of antimicrobial resistance: quantifying and mapping the drivers of burden
Knight GM, Costelloe C, Murray KA, Robotham JV, Atun R, Holmes AH.
Clin Infect Dis 2017; (): PubMed

Please visit our website for a full list of publications.

Publications: External

JPIAMR workshop: Environmental Dimensions of AMR report 
This report from a workshop on the environment and AMR highlights the state of the evidence, gaps and has a participant list of experts at the end. The first question addressed (“What is the relative contribution of different sources of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment?”) overlaps with this weeks featured publication – we need quantitative data and modelling on AMR sources.

WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System report 
This report, for substandard and falsified medical products, suggests that 1 in 10 medicines sold in LMIC’s are either fake or substandard. It was based on data gathered by WHO’s Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and falsified medical products (GSMS) since 2013 and examined 1500 products, some involving millions of doses. The majority of these are anti-malarial and antibiotic drugs. The problem is not just limited to LMIC’s with fake or substandard drugs also being identified in the EU and USA.

Phage therapy: revival of the bygone antimicrobial
Geoff Watts
Lancet, 2017 (in press)

Funding opportunities

1. UK-Vietnam Partnerships for Infectious Disease Research Call
The UK Medical Research Council (MRC), and Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology are pleased to invite research proposals for the UK-Vietnam Partnership on Infectious Disease Research, through the Newton Fund. This initiative will provide funding for high-quality collaborative research projects focused on Infectious Diseases. Closing Date: 12 December 2017 (16:00 GMT). 

2. UK-China AMR pre-call announcement
On 5 July, 2017, Research Councils UK (RCUK), the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) announced they would shortly be launching the UK-China Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Centre Partnerships Initiative under the umbrella of the Newton Fund. The partners will be holding a workshop for researchers on the week commencing 20 November in China to explore opportunities for collaboration in this area. In total, RCUK will make up to £8 million available to support the UK nodes of 3-5 centre partnerships over a three year period. The call for proposals will be launched early in 2018 – please look out for further details.

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

Job opportunities

The Department of Health is seeking applicants for the following role:
Deadline for applications is 17 December 2017.

  • Job and PhD opportunities in the fields of transmission modelling, phylogenetics, pathogen ecology, epidemiology, and any topic broadly aligned with infectious disease dynamics are now gathered in one place at this new website. There are currently several opportunities at PhD and postdoc level focused on the spread of AMR.