The Network of European and African Researchers on Antimicrobial Resistance (NEAR-AMR) represents a group of experts from leading institutions throughout Europe and Africa, within multiple disciplines (clinical, pharmacy, veterinary, environmental microbiology, epidemiology, molecular biology and evolution) encompassing a One Health approach to AMR.
The comprehensive geographical spread allows different, country-specific insights into the two focal areas of this network:
1. Determining which common capacity and capability training needs exist for young investigators hoping to establish themselves within any area of AMR research from Europe and Africa.
2. Informing on the preferred profile, and realistic limitations, of global surveillance data sharing platforms, informing expectations on what is possible within a range of existing healthcare infrastructures from multiple geographical settings.
Network outputs will be included within a dedicated NEAR-AMR website, and will inform on the strategic direction of the JPIAMR-VRI as it develops. The overall aim of this network is to focus international efforts for maximal benefit and to ensure that results are translatable on continental scales.
- Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of tropical Medicine, United Kingdom (Coordinator)
This network includes 24 partners, please click on the following link to see complete network composition: Network composition Network of European and African Researchers on Antimicrobial Resistance (NEAR-AMR)
A unique aspect of NEAR-AMR is the geographical spread of its members who are from countries representing a range of different socio-economic and resource settings from two continents: Africa and Europe. The personal experiences and insights from NEAR-AMR members who are from all stages of their careers and who are from a diverse range of fields spanning the entire One Health spectrum (including Pharmacists and clinicians, academics, veterinarians and environmental scientists), has allowed us to formulate a unique perspective on two important topics relevant to the formation of the JPIAMR Virtual Research Institute (VRI).
Firstly we have analysed the globally available reporting platforms for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance data. We have found the existing platform Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS) supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working well at national scales and is also aspirational for countries with developing healthcare infrastructure. We have also explored the benefits of reporting AMR surveillance data at more local scales and found that there are in fact two sources of information that currently exist which are not utilised as well as they could be. These are prescription data and sales data in the clinical and veterinary / agricultural fields respectively. We have an opportunity to utilise this data, which exists in almost all resource settings, in order to spot local outbreaks of resistance which could result in a change of prescription practices hospital, regional and national scales and in real time.
Secondly; we have investigated the most important training needs for early career researchers and, following discussions and a survey amongst NEAR-AMR members, concluded that strengthening knowledge in the field of diagnostics for infection, closely followed by increasing fundamental knowledge of antibiotics and the use of microbiological results in the clinic would be the top three training priorities. These recommendations will be made to the JPIAMR to inform the development of the VRI.
- NEAR-AMR website
- RicercaItaliaAfrica Initiative of Istituto Superiore di Sanità
- LSTM News article on NEAR AMR network
- BMJ Global Health, 2020. Setting the standard: multidisciplinary hallmarks for structural, equitable and tracked antibiotic policy