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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

latest news: Antibiotic resistance


Antimicrobial news

AMR research within the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research is rapidly expanding, investigating different issues relating to AMR, but focusing primarily on bacterial infections.

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April 2017

BSMS present at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID)

Dr Leena Al-Hassan, postdoctoral research fellow in the department of Global Health and Infection, and Dr James Price, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, attended the 27th ECCMID in Vienna held on 22-25 April 2017. 

ECCMID is one of the biggest annual meetings where world leading experts come together to discuss the latest developments in infectious diseases, infection control and clinical microbiology. ECCMID offers a wide range of sessions including: keynotes, symposia, poster sessions, educational workshops, and meet-the-expert sessions. 

During the congress, Leena presented a poster entitled: "A. baumannii OXA-378 multidrug-resistant clone emerges in the clinical setting." The congress also allowed some partners from BSMS, University of Cologne and University of Barcelona in the Antimicrobial Resistance - International Research Partnerships and Networks (AMR-IRPN) group to meet and discuss future research projects. 

James said: "As a clinical post-doc developing an intermediate fellowship proposal I was keen to strengthen and develop collaborations. I attended a clinical academic trainee workshop where I had the opportunity to discuss career options with peers and explore observerships and mentoring schemes. As well as a Q&A session with a choice of 20 academics holding exemplary international reputations covering a wide academic spectrum. My chosen mentor (Prof Evelina Tacconelli from Tübingen, Germany) was inspiring and gave me some great tips on careers and research development – that might lead to international collaboration." 

ECCMID_conference

November 2016

Pioneering Study of Potentially Deadly Hospital Germ 

A new study by Prof Martin Llewelyn and Dr James Price has been published in Lancet Infectious Diseases this month. The study has been looking at patients who pick up Staphylococcus aureus, known as Staph aureus, in hospital to identify where it comes from. Staph aureus is a bacterium which lives harmlessly all over the body and which despite not causing problems for most, can cause serious infections among people in hospital. Hospital staff work hard to stop patients catching Staph aureus infections, particularly those caused by strains that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics (such as methicillin resistant Staph aureus or MRSA). Despite these efforts hospital patients are still catching the infection.

Using ‘whole-genome sequencing’ (WGS) the research team compared genetic codes from germs for similarities and to determine if one person picked up Staph aureus from another or not - one theory being that staff brought the bacteria into the hospital and spread it to patients. The results were surprising as it was not possible to identify where most patients picked up Staph aureus. This changes our understanding of how infections are spread in hospitals.  

This project is part of a wider collection of work being undertaken by Prof Martin Llewelyn’s and BSUH Consultant Dr John Paul’s research group in which WGS is revealing new insights into other medically important organisms including gonorrhoea. 

October 2016

Global health scientists meet at BSMS to tackle antimicrobial resistance

In October, BSMS held the first meeting for the International Network to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance, which is a project funded by Sussex International Research Partnerships and Network fund. The project, coordinated by the Wellcome Trust Centre of Global Health, also involves The Centre of Global Health Policy at the University of Sussex, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene at the University of Cologne.   

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already warned that antibiotic resistance “threatens the achievements of modern medicine” and has developed a Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) with strategic objectives. The project seeks to strengthen AMR research that crosses biomedical and social science as well as geographic barriers. It will bring together researchers in genetics and microbial epidemiology, as well as scientists from the social areas, to develop common research questions, integrate research institutions from LMICs into the network, build capacities, and generate grant proposals for international funding. It will place a special focus on the effect of immigration on AMR epidemiology globally.

AMR News - Global health scientists meet at BSMS

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July 2016

Network to tackle global threat of antimicrobial resistance 

Prof Melanie Newport has been awarded a £30,000 grant to support an international research partnership, tackling the rising global threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The award from the University of Sussex's International Research Partnerships and Network Fund will enable medical, biomedical and social scientists to share their expertise through an interdisciplinary network.

The increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a significant challenge and by 2050 could be responsible for more deaths than cancer. The World Health Organization has warned that the severity of the problem "threatens the achievements of modern medicine."

The Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research, together with its partner institutions in African countries, will link up with scientists at the Centre for Global Health Policy (University of Sussex), the Institute of Global Health (University of Barcelona), and the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene (University of Cologne).

Researchers will develop a comprehensive strategy to investigate the drivers of antimicrobial resistance, ranging from bacterial genetics through to social factors such as migration and the globalisation of travel and trade.

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May 2016

9th Scientific Meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics 

The Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research was well represented at the recent ninth Scientific Meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics. Prof Melanie Newport, Director of the Centre and President of the Society, chaired a session at the meeting, which was held in Dakar, Senegal.

Three members of the Centre's collaborating centres also presented at the meeting.

Tewodros Gebresilase, a PhD student from the Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Ethiopia, won second prize for best oral presentation by a young investigator; he spoke about research that highlighted the importance of exploring community concerns around ethical issues when genetic research is undertaken in low-income settings.

Jonas Arnaud Kengne Ouafo, a PhD Student at the University of Buea, Cameroon, presented a poster on his research on the genetics of podoconiosis; and Ashraf Osman Mohamed, a Research Assistant from the Institute of Endemic Diseases, University of Khartoum, gave an oral presentation on his research investigating the genetics of epilepsy in Sudan.

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April 2015

Resistance and Epidemiology of Klebsiella pneumonia

Dr Leena Al-Hassan recently spent time in Sudan, visiting with collaborators and her PhD student, Einas Awad, at the Institute of Endemic Diseases (IEND), University of Khartoum. Leena is currently supervising Einas' PhD work on the Genetics of Resistance and Epidemiology of Klebsiella pneumoniae in Khartoum State. This is an extensively resistant, hospital-acquired pathogen of global concern. The PhD project will build on Dr Al-Hassan's Research Development Fund award from the University of Sussex, and will be supervised by herself and Prof Moawia Mohamed Mokhtar, based at the IEND in Khartoum.