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Emerging AMR

    1. What is the burden of AMR amongst the major bacterial pathogens in Malawi?
    2. What are the molecular mechanisms of AMR and what drives their emergence, maintenance and spread in bacterial populations?
    3. Can we design practical interventions to control the emergence and spread of AMR?
  • Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to human health globally. In Malawi, as in other resource poor countries, even the simplest antimicrobials remain a precious commodity. The aim of the AMR group is to use a ‘one health’ approach to gain a better understanding of the burden and factors that drive AMR in major bacterial pathogens important to human health, in order to design interventions to curb the emergence and spread of resistance in this setting.
    • Defining the burden of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial meningitis at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. 
    • Determining AMR risk in livestock food chains in Malawi.
    • Assessing how mass azithromycin administration programmes will drive the evolution of AMR in the Malawian population.
    • Establishing the origin and molecular epidemiology of MRSA and ESKAPE pathogens at QECH.
    • Assessing the global impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on the evolution of AMR in the pneumococcus.
    • Testing the utility of the MinION handheld sequencing platform to rapidly characterize outbreaks of antimicrobial resistant bacteria.
    • Piloting the utility of mass cell phone text messaging surveys to assess and compare antimicrobial usage, access and knowledge of antibiotics and AMR in human and animals in urban and rural Malawi.
     
  • Group head, Jen Cornick has been appointed one of seven members of the core Malawi Ministry of Health team developing a National Action Plan on AMR. $280,000 BMFG/WHO funding to establish the impact of short course azithromycin and ciprofloxacin on phenotypic and genotypic antibiotic resistance patterns in nasopharyngeal and gut colonizing bacteria.