World Antibiotic Awareness Week: Research in review

University of Liverpool | November 2018 | World Antibiotic Awareness Week: Research in review

The University of Liverpool has collated a series of their research stories from the past year to mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which is every November. 

Among the stories are a feature in the collection is researchers  using snake venom to treat eye infections as an alternative to antibotics, a discussion about antibotics overuse in the farming industry and a project that is working to develop new antibiotics for multidrug-resistant bacteria. 

 

Each of the news stories are available to read from the University of Liverpool

New funding to tackle antibiotic resistance

Latest podcast: Antibiotic resistance and farms  

Snake venom treatment investigated as antibiotic alternative for eye infections 

£1.6m to develop novel meningitis blood test

 

 

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Keep Antibiotics Working campaign

Campaign returns and will run from Tuesday 23 October 2018 across England for 8 weeks and will be supported with advertising, partnerships with local pharmacies and GP surgeries, and social media activity | Public Health England

The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign aims to educate the public about the risks of antibiotic resistance, urging people to always take healthcare professionals’ advice as to when they need antibiotics. Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.  The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

The campaign is part of a wider cross-Government strategy to help preserve antibiotics. The Government’s ‘UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018’ set out aims to improve the knowledge and understanding of AMR, conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments, and stimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostics, and novel therapies.

Full detail at Public Health England

Infection outbreaks could be reduced by copper coated uniforms say University of Manchester scientists

Full reference :Sun, C. et al. |Durable and Washable Antibacterial Copper Nanoparticles Bridged by Surface Grafting Polymer Brushes on Cotton and Polymeric Materials| Journal of Nanomaterials|2018| DOI: 10.1155/2018/6546193
While the antibacterial properties of gold and silver are well known, and their effectiveness in reducing the growth of several microorganisms has been reported, the high cost of silver and gold has compelled material chemists to explore the possibility of using copper, as it has similar antimicrobial properties but is far less expensive. 

wire-2681887_1920Researchers from University of Manchester collaborated with Chinese scientists to create a ‘durable and washable, concrete like’ composite material made from antibacterial copper nanoparticles.  Rather than using the traditional process of copper coating the polymer brush technique (polymer surface grafting) to create a strong chemcial bond developed by team proved far more effective. They tested these nanoparticles on cotton and polyester as each material was brushed with the nanoparticles. The cotton and polyester coated-copper fabrics showed excellent antibacterial resistance against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and E. coli, even after being washed 30 times.

Abstract

To increase the durability of antibacterial coating on cotton and polymeric substrates, surface initiated grafting polymer brushes are introduced onto the substrates surface to bridge copper nanoparticles coatings and substrate. The morphologies of the composites consisting of the copper nanoparticles and polymer brushes were characterized with scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

It was found that copper nanoparticles were uniformly and firmly distributed on the surfaces of the substrates by the polymer brushes; meanwhile, the reinforced concrete-like structures were formed in the composite materials. The substrates coated by the copper nanoparticles showed the efficient antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) even after washing by 30 cycles. The copper nanoparticles were tethered on the substrates by the strong chemical bonds, which led to the excellent washable fitness and durability. The change of the phase structure of the copper was analyzed to investigate the release mechanism of copper ions.

Full story at Science Daily

Related Infection Control Today Copper Coated Uniforms could Help Reduce Infection Transmission 

 

Soil sample analysis reveals new class of antibiotics

Scientists from Rockefeller University, New York have discovered a class of distinctive anitiboitics in environmental samples.  Tests show the compounds, called malacidins, annihilate several bacterial diseases that have become resistant to most existing antibiotics, including the superbug MRSA. As infectious diseases are the leading killer of humans worldwide, the team behind the discovery hope to be able to improve the drug’s effectiveness to exploit its full potential. 

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The researchers used a gene sequencing technique to analyse DNA extracted from more than 1,000 soil samples taken from across the US.  This led to the discovery of the malacidins, a distinctive class of antibiotics that are commonly encoded in soil microbiomes but have never been reported in culture-based natural products (NP)  discovery efforts.

The malacidins are active against multidrug-resistant pathogens, sterilize methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus skin infections in an animal wound model and did not select for resistance under laboratory conditions.

Full article at BBC News: New Antibiotic family discovered in dirt 

The full text article can be downloaded from Nature Microbiology

Full reference:  Hoover, B. M. | Culture- independent discovery of the  malacidins as
calcium-dependent antibiotics with activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens | Nature Microbiology | 2018| Doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-018-0110-1

NICE will not update guidance on Antimicrobial stewardship: systems and processes for effective antimicrobial medicine use (2015) NICE guideline NG15

 NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)  check their guidelines regularly to ensure they remain up to date. They have decided not to update the guideline on antimicrobial stewardship at this time. NICE based the decision on surveillance 2 years after the publication of NICE’s guideline on antimicrobial stewardship (NICE guideline NG15) in 2015. 

Reason for the decision

Assessing the evidence

For this guideline,  NICE checked any policy or other guidance documents that had been issued or updated since NICE guideline NG15 was published. They also checked any Cochrane reviews related to the guideline – this included any updates to the 4 Cochrane reviews used to inform the recommendations during development of the guideline, as well as any new Cochrane reviews published since October 2014 when the original search took place.  In addition, NICE also  checked for any relevant National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Signals. Each piece of evidence was checked against the guideline recommendations to assess any potential impact.

The policy, Cochrane reviews and NIHR Signals NICE examined did not indicate a need to update the guideline, therefore we did not undertake a formal evidence review. Furthermore, members of the original guideline committee were in agreement that there had been no substantial changes to the evidence base that would affect the guideline at this point .

NICE also checked for any relevant ongoing studies, and the impact of any publications arising from these in future will be monitored.

Overall decision 

 After considering the evidence described above as well as the views of topic experts and stakeholders, NICE  proposes  to not update this guideline.

See how NICE made the decision for further information

 

Progress report on the UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance strategy

The third annual progress report on the UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy, including future plans | Department of Health

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The third annual progress report describes the activities and achievements in the third year of implementation of the UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy 2013 to 2018, including significant international achievements.

The UK AMR strategy represents an ambitious programme to slow the development and spread of AMR, taking a ‘One Health’ approach spanning people, animals, agriculture and the wider environment.

The report sets out progress made in 2016, and notes that for the remaining 2 years of the strategy, the programme will focus on delivery of the government’s ambitions set out in response to the review on AMR led by Lord O’Neill. These include ambitions to halve certain types of infection and the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Full report: UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2013-2018. Annual progress report, 2016

 

Antibiotic awareness resources

Public Health England have published a series of antibiotic awareness resources to support the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and local initiatives.

Antibiotic awareness: toolkit for healthcare professionals in England
Guidance to help the NHS, local authorities and others support European Antibiotic Awareness Day and the Antibiotic Guardian campaign, to encourage responsible use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic awareness: quizzes and crosswords
Quizzes and crosswords about antibiotic resistance for the public, healthcare prescribers and pharmacists.

Antibiotics: secondary care prescriber’s checklist
Prescribers in secondary healthcare can use this checklist to help make decisions about prescribing antibiotics.

Antibiotic awareness: posters and leaflets
Posters and leaflets (in 11 languages) for the public and healthcare professionals to support antibiotic awareness campaigns in the UK.

PHE have also produced a short video to help explain the issue of antibiotic resistance: