Canada_IPAP - Anglo-Canadian Collaboration on Antimicrobial resistance

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: School of Water, Energy and Environment


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health concern as the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria increasingly reduces the effectiveness of our most widely used antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial diseases. The current revolution in biosciences is creating new tools that offer the chance to tackle AMR issues in the environment and create 'future-proof' technologies for new areas of application, targeting AMR issues. Successful exploitation depends on combining an enhanced understanding of the fundamental science with an ability to apply and deploy in the field for real-time monitoring to better understand the emergence and dissemination of AMR in the environment. The Anglo-Canadian Collaboration on Antimicrobial resistance (ACCAMAR) thus aims to strengthen the links between those working at the forefront of microbial genomics, metabolic capabilities, and community interactions; and those designing next-generation environmental protection technologies and human risk exposure and mitigations.

Technical Summary

Biosensing, biotechnologies and microbial systems provide a range of environmental protection and bioremediation services, forming the basis for some of the world's largest industries across the Water-Food-Soil nexus. Development of such systems to date has been largely empirical and incremental, but the pace is changing in response to the need to match expanding global demand. There are also new challenges to address, ranging from the emergence or re-emergence of diseases due to antimicrobial resistance to the dissemination of drug-resistant pathogens.

The current revolution in biological and analytical sciences is creating tools that give unprecedented insights into AMR issues from genetic to community level, and into factors that can potentially be used to control and mitigate the spread of AMR in the environment. At the same time, new approaches allow enhanced measurement and modelling of AMR spread in the environment; while advances in materials science and separation technologies offer the potential for selectively detecting antimicrobial-resistant pathogens to inform mitigation strategies. These developments thus offer a chance to optimise existing detection, and quantification methods as well as monitoring and mitigation processes. Successful exploitation of these opportunities depends, however, on bringing together an enhanced knowledge of the underlying science with the ability to apply this in field-scale systems, which must meet both societal expectations and increasingly stringent economic and environmental requirements. The aim of ACCAMAR is thus to develop and strengthen links between advanced molecular and applied microbiology, engineering, and systems optimisation to maximise the societal impacts and benefits. Its overall goal is to take fundamental Anglo-Canadian discovery science towards practical application in key areas of the human/environment interface and AMR.


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