November 18 – 24 is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve over time to become resistant to medicine, making it more difficult to prevent and treat infections, and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.
AMR has been a key focus in OUCRU’s research for many years. Our objective is to understand and improve antimicrobial use (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agriculture, the community, and hospitals. Our approach is interdisciplinary – led by a number of OUCRU’s research groups and public engagement teams.
Our current AMR research programme has the following five overarching aims:
- To improve the impact of surveillance of drug-resistant infections using clinically oriented case-based hospital surveillance and whole genome sequencing;
- To evaluate interventions to reduce antibiotic use and resistance at the community level, taking a OneHealth approach;
- To continue our antimicrobial stewardship programmes at provincial-level hospitals and expand to district-level hospitals;
- To conduct innovative clinical trials to evaluate treatment outcomes of drug-resistant infections;
- To undertake Public and Community Engagement to understand and encourage appropriate antimicrobial use at the community level.
These efforts strive to curb antimicrobial use at the community level and in primary care settings to reduce antimicrobial resistance in AMR hotspots in Southeast Asia.
In the Hanoi Unit, the research has included driving the situation analysis and development of a National Action Plan for AMR 2013-2020, and establishing a surveillance network of hospitals (VINARES) and a reference laboratory, both of which have been recognised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and received national status under Fleming Fund grants. OUCRU currently has a seat on the advisory panel to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health for the development and implementation of the National Action Plan for AMR 2021-2030.