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Researchers discuss how to tackle drug-resistant infections

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LT3, Wolfson Education Centre

Hammersmith Hospital

Du Cane Road

London

W12 0HS

United Kingdom

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From viruses fighting bacteria to a new centre for drug optimisation, the latest AHSC seminar tackles the issue of antimicrobial resistance.

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At the next Imperial College Academic Science Centre (AHSC) seminar, an expert from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will pair up with an academic from Imperial College London to talk about their latest work on tackling drug-resistant infections.

Access to effective antimicrobial drugs (like antibiotics or antifungals) is critical in treating patients with bacterial, fungal and viral infections. However, there are very few new antimicrobial drugs being developed, so researchers are focusing on optimising the use of those we have.

Overuse of antimicrobials or using them for the wrong reason is fuelling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), leading to an increase in drug-resistant infections. This occurs when the microorganisms which cause infections such as bacteria and fungi develop resistance to treatments like antibiotics and antifungals.

If resistance is not tackled, the effects will be catastrophic. The threat of fatal infection will not only make routine operations such as hip replacements and heart bypass too risky, but it could also result in simple infections needing hospital treatment, and even render many forms of cancer treatment impossible.

Professor Ramesh Wigneshweraraj, Professor of Molecular Microbiology in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, will talk about how bacterial viruses can help combat bacteria resistance to antibiotics.

Professor Wigneshweraraj will explain how phages –virus that targets and infect bacteria– can take hold of a bacteria’s essential cellular machinery.

This new insight into how a phage is optimised to kill bacteria could be used as the foundation for the development of next-generation antibiotics or synthetic viruses, capable of combatting many different kinds of drug-resistant infections.

Professor Alison Holmes, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London, Associate Medical Director and the Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, will talk about her work leading a new Imperial centre that will pioneer research to optimise how antimicrobial drugs are used.

The Centre for Antimicrobial Optimisation (CAMO) will support the development of innovation and technology to optimise the use of antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals to improve patient care and reduce the drivers of drug-resistant infections.

This new centre brings together a range of expertise from across the College and partnerships with the NHS, to support and deliver research to improve infection management.

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LT3, Wolfson Education Centre

Hammersmith Hospital

Du Cane Road

London

W12 0HS

United Kingdom

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