The new network called CAMO-Net will support translational research to help tackle the main drivers of antimicrobial resistance.
The Centres for Antimicrobial Optimisation Network (CAMO-Net), funded by Wellcome, will be brought together by Professor Alison Holmes and teams based at Imperial College London and University of Liverpool.
The network aims to address the global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on human health by fostering research partnerships across low, middle, and high resource settings and across urban and rural environments.
As well as these UK institutions, the ground-breaking consortium will include research teams the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda, and the Fundação Faculdade de Medicina in Brazil, with plans for teams from institutes in India to join soon.
The network’s research will particularly focus on how to better use antibiotics, improving access to treatment, and better prevention of bacterial infections, all of which will minimise AMR. This will take into account specific epidemiological, cultural, structural, and economic factors.
Professor Alison Holmes said: “I am absolutely delighted to be working with such extraordinary and expert colleagues, national centres and institutes across the world. Not only will this network provide a unique opportunity to advance multidisciplinary research to improve and sustain access to effective antimicrobial treatments and address AMR, it has shared international learning embedded within it and also represents a major commitment to more equitable research models.”
Exploring the causes of antimicrobial resistance
Prof Holmes had previously received BRC funding to investigate personalising antimicrobial dosing and antimicrobial resistance. This initiative was created to help improve decision-making regarding antimicrobial use and inform practices and guidelines for prescribers, users and policy makers.
The consortium’s key operations will be in regions with extremely high burden of drug-resistant infections, serving the communities most affected by escalated infectious disease, while taking a unique approach to improving the use of antimicrobials.
In addition to the four sites which will act as ‘National Hubs’, CAMO-Net will also include three shadow sites who will participate in network activities and be able to work collaboratively with other sites as part of a pilot project for the wider programme. These sites will be Dow University of Health Sciences in Pakistan, Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh and Unversidade da Paz in Timor Leste, supported by Menzies School of Health Research.
CAMO-Net will use this extensive network of interdisciplinary experts, partners at the forefront of relevant technological innovation and links with policymakers to conduct research to actionably improve antimicrobial use in humans through three interlinked themes identified through a Wellcome-commissioned roadmap.
Timothy Jinks, Head of Infectious Disease Interventions at Wellcome, said: “Antibiotics have been saving millions of lives for decades, but their effectiveness is under increasing pressure.
“Our funding for CAMO-Net will support research that generates new knowledge about how best to preserve and sustain their efficacy, drawing on local contexts where the burden of drug-resistant infections is highest. This will help guide more effective and tailored interventions from policymakers and prescribers, ensuring patients can continue to benefit from these lifesaving medicines into the future.”