Bridging the Gaps: Systems-level approaches to antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial Resistance – An issue for everybody (outreach)
Sabine Tötemeyer (Veterinary Medicine and Science), Jon Hobman (Biosciences), Michael Jones (Veterinary Medicine and Science) and Rachel Gomes (Engineering) plus undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Antimicrobial resistance is rapidly developing and one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Currently used antimicrobials are getting less and less effective, and rapidly increasing resistance has been found against ‘last resort antimicrobials’ such as colistin. Some social behaviours of human and veterinary prescribers and users of antimicrobials accelerate the development of antimicrobial resistance.The UK-Gov O’Neil report (2016) highlights public awareness as the first step in tackling the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. The microbiology community needs to make this clear, accessible and fun to students and the public.
The aims of the outreach project are:
- to increase antimicrobial resistance awareness
- to strengthen links with the community.
To achieve these aims we ran a series of activities during AMR awareness week (Nov 2016) and will run events at primary and secondary schools (May – July 2017), residential summer schools (June/July 2017), Farmer’s markets, the University of Nottingham festivals, and through Sutton Bonington campus choir. Activities include:
- ‘Hunt for new antibiotic producers’ involving the distribution of 500 swabs to swab in search of antibiotic producers.
- Competition: ‘Design cuddly Veterinary Microbe’. Cuddly microbes are available for a range for bacteria that infect humans but there is a lack of cuddly microbes of veterinary interest.
Educational posters and general information with the support of students from The University of Nottingham researchers will be running stalls about antibiotic resistance and what everybody can do to reduce it. This includes posters about current research and also accessible activities such as hand washing and cuddly microbe games.
Researchers and students hope to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance amongst students and the general public. We hope that this will show an increase in their behaviour to reduce AMR, for example, by improving the way in which they wash their hands. Additionally, we can encourage students to find out more about AMR then we may increase the number of people going on to work in this area. This is important because we will need a greater number of researchers to fight against AMR effectively.
If you are interested in finding out more about this research or about Bridging the Gaps please be in contact with Harry Moriarty firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.