The Centre to Impact AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) was established to bring together the disciplines and research pathways required to move beyond simply throwing drugs at an escalating health issue – because that strategy no longer works.
Many microbes have evolved to resist the antimicrobials created to defeat them, and so continue to grow and prosper. New pathogens also are emerging.
The cost to human health and well-being is huge. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2050 around 10 million people will die every year due to AMR infections, a figure that includes tens of thousands of Australians. That’s – a mortality rate higher than that for cancer.
Experts from across Monash University’s faculties collaborate in this Centre to investigate, interrogate and integrate the knowledge and procedures that can underpin new strategies.
- We are working to better understand how superbugs evolve and spread, map their evolution in urban and rural environments, and uncover the likely next stage of development.
- Through innovations in environmental management that can reduce the infection burden, and by developing exciting new anti-infective coatings that can be used on furniture and fittings, we are looking to reduce superbug potential impact on humans.
- We are exploring alternatives to the traditional use of antimicrobials, including phage therapy, which has been overlooked for too long, and new therapies that seek to boost a patient’s immune system.
- We are trialling new modelling, assessment and diagnostic techniques that can assess the impact of proposed treatments on the evolution of bacterial resistance.
- We are working to extend the life of current and new antimicrobials by making sure they remain effective.
- Importantly, we also are building the evidence base and the messaging needed to raise awareness and support. AMR is a major threat to public health, but it has largely failed to attract public attention.
Our 200-strong Monash team has combined expertise across evolutionary biology, nanotechnology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, microbiology, clinical research and social sciences. All work with colleagues nationally and internationally.
The impending future for Australia can be seen already in Asia and building a Centre to Impact AMR required engaging with clinicians and researchers in Asia. To this end, we have initiated alliances with teams in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and China.