AMR-Global Hosts 5th Consortium Meeting

AMR-Global is a public-private consortium built to respond to the ever-growing AMR crisis. Founded in 2019, we recently held our 5th annual meeting at Vakwerkhuis Delft to discuss current updates and to strategize for the future. Led by AIGHD Director for Science Constance Schultsz, the meeting consisted of members from Health~Holland, Levels Diagnostics, ShanX, KNCV Tuberculosis, and other institutes which you can find here.

What is AMR?

Antimicrobial Resistance (or AMR) is an effect of the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in our society. This includes the use of antibiotics in agriculture, livestock, and in medicine. If you want to familiarize yourself better with AMR, you can watch this video (in English) from the UK Health Security Agency.

AMR is an existing Global Health threat and One of the focus areas for patient treatment has been on accessible, accurate, and timely diagnosis to mitigate AMR. Levels Diagnostics and ShanX are two private partners of AMR-Global whose work focuses on developing better diagnostic tools for identifying patients with bacterial infections who require antibiotic treatment. We sat down with the co-founder of Levels Diagnostics, Coen Breedveld, and the Chief Scientist of ShanX, Ardjan van der Linden, to discuss their presentations and latest developments. We will post the short interviews of Levels here and ShanX in the near future.

Updates, Developments, and Insights into AMR

Despite the cold autumn morning, Prof. Constance Schultsz opened the 5th annual AMR-Global annual meeting with a cheerful tone. Welcoming everyone to the Vakwerkhuis Delft, Prof. Schultsz discussed the day’s agenda which consisted of two major sessions. In the morning, the GLORIA Consortium meeting focused on updates on projects within the GLORIA program in the past year. In the afternoon, AMR-Global partners and invited speakers discussed sector developments as well as future funding and collaboration opportunities for AMR research.

AIGHD Project Manager Mark van Knegsel discussed the various updates surrounding the GLORIA consortium followed by Gonçalo Piedade who presented on the ROTA-biotic study being conducted with colleagues at CIDRZ in Zambia. Coen Breedveld of Levels Diagnostics shared their updates with us including major developments in their diagnostic tools while ShanX was represented by Chief Scientific Officer Ardjan van der Linden who also presented the findings on their urinary diagnostic tool. Capping off the morning session, Pas4AMR also presented their updates through representatives Kristin Kremer and Anita Schurch and SWIM through Eline Boelee.

We opened the afternoon with an information session about AMR in the Netherlands, and specifically in Nijmegen. Presented by Daniel Duarte from the KWR Water Institute, his paper focused on the presence of antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) and antibiotics in Nijmegen’s sewers. An interesting find was that most of these ARGs and antibiotics were heavily concentrated in sewage outlets directly connected to and around hospitals. This means that despite efforts to sanitise hospital waste, that there are still many variables surrounding antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance genes in and around hospitals which require closer observation. You can read the paper here.

Dutch top sectors Life Science & Health – Health~Holland, represented by Andrea Stavenuiter, and Top Sector Water & Maritime, represented by Anne Hummelen, discussed the direction and funding strategies for 2024 including the announcement of a new call for proposals due in the first half of this year. These Dutch top sectors have expanded their goals to further incorporate AMR into their strategies.

The day concluded with a lively open discussion about steps moving forward including the new Dutch Global Health strategy. Overall, the 5th annual consortium meeting was a success, with everyone walking away with new knowledge about AMR and with new partnerships built on innovative and passionate minds.