This article was published in the Parliament Magazine February issue 2016.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has led to a global increase in morbidity and mortality due to resistant bacterial infections.

Bacteria develop resistance naturally. It is hence not enough to only develop new antibiotics as the bacteria, through the process of selective pressure, will always find ways of becoming resistant. Therefore, to tackle the problem, we must instead focus on reducing morbidity and mortality rates of bacterial infectious disease. We must also carry out more research to better understand how resistance develops and spreads in the environment. To reduce this threat, we should develop improved diagnostics, data-driven, evidence-based and mandatory stewardship, better surveillance methods and smarter strategies and trials design. Changing how we use antibiotics in health care and agriculture should also be a key area for improvement.

The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, JPIAMR, coordinates national funding and supports collaborative action to fill knowledge gaps in this field. By mobilising existing and new resources the initiative can create a greater critical mass and attract new researchers into the AMR field. A Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which outlines key [neglected] areas to tackle, guides JPIAMR and focuses research actions. The SRA also serves as a guidance documents for nations to align their AMR research agenda.

As resistant bacteria know no national borders, JPIAMR works at an international scale. By engaging individual nations beyond Europe as members (22 current members), the JPIAMR platform enables collaborative actions in areas of unmet needs. For example, in January 2016, JPIAMR co-organised a workshop with the US National Institute of Health (NIH) and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which brought together scientists in the field of antibacterial resistance. The aim was to increase the trans-Atlantic dialogue and encourage scientific collaboration to enhance research addressing antibacterial resistance.

JPIAMR key activities

International collaboration with

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Research Agenda
  • Transatlantic US-EU Task Force on AMR (TATFAR)
  • G7 on the AMR Declaration
  • Joint Industry Group EC-JPI-IMI-EPFIA

Calls for Proposals

Scoping workshops to map gaps and future actions needed

Mapping exercises of the funding landscape to identify gaps

JPIAMR cannot address all aspects of the AMR problem, but can pave a way forward by producing new research, engaging new researchers and creating networks that create long-term momentum for other areas in society. There is an urgent need for interdisciplinary and public-private partnerships to support research in the antimicrobial resistance field. Exchanges between industry, public health bodies, and academic bodies will entail benefits not only from a cost-sharing perspective, but also for coordination of the respective research activities. This is where JPIAMR will make a difference.

If you are interested to know more about the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, do not hesitate to contact us at secretariat.jpiamr@vr.se

Article in Parliament Magazine