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2022 highlights from the AMR Centre

In our first newsletter of the new year, Dr Gwen Knight (Co-Director of the AMR Centre), reflects on all that happened in 2022, including the switch to hybrid seminars.

We heard from a great variety of speakers in 2022, with the vast majority of the seminars available for you to watch back on our website. Our talks ranged from the contribution of antibiotic use in poultry from Professor Tomley (RVC), to using genomics to track pathogens in Australia (Dr Ingle, Uni. of Melbourne), to the importance of WASH (Prof. Okeke) and behaviour change (Dr Limmathurotsakul, Universities of Mahidol and Oxford). We look forward to welcoming you to an equally exciting and interdisciplinary set of talks next year! 
 
We also heard from Dr Sartorius (Uni of Oxford) on what was one of the biggest impact AMR projects from 2022 – the estimates of the global burden of AMR mortality from the Global Research on AntiMicrobial resistance (GRAM) Project. The momentum that this work has produced will hopefully lead to increased data collection, analysis and awareness of AMR into 2023 and beyond.

Excitingly, 2022 saw the first joint WHO and ECDC report on AMR surveillance, and the 2022 WHO GLASS report has a visualisation dashboard suggesting that joined up data and usage will only increase. Improvements still need to be made in terms of data availability though, with a lack of demographic and sub-national estimates available, as well as availability but not aggregation of data – if you want access to all data behind the GLASS report check out this handy resource from previous AMR Centre PhD representative Quentin Leclerc.
 
The keynote speaker in our AMR: a Multidisciplinary Approach short course was Prof Laxminarayan (One Health Trust) delivering a talk on the “State of the world’s antibiotic 2022” which provides a great overview of AMR complexities. We had a great bunch of students and great feedback from the course - watch this space for information about the 2023 version! 
 
LSHTM researchers have continued to produce high quality AMR research across the disciplines: featured LSHTM publications across last year’s newsletters have ranged from calling for more investigation of AMR in cities, to using modelling to understand the interaction of bacteriophage and antibiotics, to commenting on the antibiotic subscription model, to nanopore technology for sequencing M. tuberculosis, to the impact of non-concordant therapy on bloodstream infection mortality. Moreover, genomic research has highlighted the dynamics of resistance pathogens such as K. pneumoniae and non-typhoidal Salmonella, and produced new tools such as Paratype, alongside fundamental biological research on the importance of understanding apoptosis
 
This high quality of research is recognised in our internal LSHTM publication prizes, which in 2022 went to Dr McQuaid for his modelling work on MDR-TB, Ms Nagiya for her work on antibiotic use in rural Eastern Uganda, and Mrs Darboe (our PhD Student rep) for her genomic work in the Gambia. Hear them discuss their work here. We also held a successful connect event and look forward to a finally holding a much-delayed internal retreat in 2023! 
 
What 2023 holds is impossible to predict. As I discuss in this podcast, what we do know is that new infectious diseases are emerging and that we need to protect the antibiotics that enable much of modern medicine to happen. We hope that 2023 will give us all the time and space needed to build on our learning from COVID-19 to do better data collection and analysis to improve our understanding and hence prevention of the problems of AMR. 

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