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Current newsletter

24 September 2018

This week’s AMR Centre Newsletter was compiled by Sam Willcocks, head of the Biological & Pharmacological Sciences pillar at the AMR Centre



FDA’s “Strategic Approach for Combatting AMR”
On Sep 14th, the USA Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Dr Scott Gottlieb, outlined the FDA’s ‘Strategic Approach for Combatting AMR’. If you have a spare 98 minutes, you can find the full announcement here. The FDA, and equivalent bodies in other countries, are highly influential because they are closely involved at every stage of antimicrobial use – from pre-market development, to clinical trials, through to post-market safety and surveillance. They are also important in supplementing the activity of national action plans as well as non-government organisations. The FDA recognised that solving the AMR problem requires a multi-disciplinary approach, and highlighted four key areas that will guide their strategy into 2019.

1. Economic – “Push” incentives to encourage new and alternative antimicrobial development, including greater funding and shortened time to clinical trials; but also, “pull” incentives to attract more investment into the field. An interesting suggestion is the implementation of subscription fees for developers of antimicrobials with high clinical value, thereby decoupling the worth of the product from its sales volume.

2. Stewardship – “We can’t count on outracing drug resistance, but we can use stewardship and science to slow its pace”. Pleasingly, it was recognised that, as well as providing guidance in the application of antimicrobials in human health, veterinary and agricultural settings are also important. This aspect also includes support for the development of technology to assist with diagnostics through detection of biomarkers to guide appropriate use of antimicrobials.

3. Surveillance – Particulalry to help determine “when” microbes develop resistance. There is a recognition that all manner of datasets are collected and communicated differently, making any holistic assessment difficult. The FDA suggested a standardised, centralised information system to guide decision making and knowledge dissemination.

4. Regulation – Specifically, how to appropriately manage public-private partnerships. The FDA would like to achieve an annual list of regulatory science initiatives specific for antimicrobial products. This includes “new efforts to create drug development tools or standards for use by industry to better meet patient needs”.



Events at LSHTM

2 October, 12.45pm: A lunchtime seminar in which Alice Tompson will present her PhD Upgrade. By using a mixed-methods approach, Alice Tompson hopes to gain a more complete picture of antibiotic use in the care of pet dogs.

10 October, 5.30pm: Following on from last year’s Antibiotic Awareness Week event, the AMR Centre continues its collaboration with the Longitude Prize. Join us for a short documentary screening, followed by a panel discussion and informal drinks reception.
Missed a seminar?

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



External events

4-5 October, Leicester: This interdisciplinary workshop builds on findings from a multinational qualitative study on the use of broad spectrum antibiotics for acute medical patients in hospitals in the UK, South Africa and Sri Lanka, and discusses antibiotic stewardship in the context of social dilemma theory.
Dr Clare Chandler, co-Director of the AMR Centre at LSHTM, is one of the keynote speakers.
Attendance is free but you must register here.



Bloomsbury SET Innovation Fellowships

The Bloomsbury SET: Connecting capability to combat the threat from infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance.

Applications are invited for Innovation Fellowships that will be hosted at one of the four member Colleges of The Bloomsbury SET. These Fellowships are intended for early and mid-career researchers with an interest in developing proof-of-concept / prototyping studies on low-cost, portable diagnostic tools and technologies for infectious diseases of humans and / or animals.
The following Colleges are able to host fellowships:

  • The Royal Veterinary College,
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
  • London School of Economics and Political Sciences and
  • SOAS, University of London.

Closes: 29th October 2018
Full details here.




LSHTM featured publication

Para-cresol production by Clostridium difficile affects microbial diversity and membrane integrity of Gram-negative bacteria. Passmore et al., PLoS Pathog 2018; 14(9):e1007191


External publications

Environmental contamination by bacteria in hospital washrooms according to hand-drying method: a multi-centre study. Best et al., J. Hosp. Inf.

The bacterial outer membrane is an evolving antibiotic barrier. May and Grabowicz, PNAS


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. You can email us on: