5,000 people in the UK are killed each year by strains of bacteria and fungi that have adapted to resist antibiotics. Worryingly, increasing numbers of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) strains are emerging globally, prompting fears that all existing antibiotics will become redundant. To tackle this threat, as part of a national plan on AMR, the Department of Health and Social Care has allocated £2.8million to the University Hospital Southampton and the University of Southampton’s Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention (UoS NAMRIP).
The partnership between researchers and consultants in Southampton’s frontline services will enable speedy diagnoses and pioneering treatments in response. This builds upon the University Hospital’s existing measures against AMR, such as improvements in prescriptions, care and infection control. Professor Read, a consultant who led the funding bid for the new research facilities based within Southampton General Hospital, explains:
By bridging the gap between experimental AMR studies in our NIHR Clinical Research Facility, the UoS-based National Biofilm Innovation Centre and the clinical frontline it will speed up access to, and development of, new treatments
Professor Saul Faust, a paediatric immunology and infectious diseases consultant, and Director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility adds:
It’s critical that this facility is being embedded in hospital services. Patients will benefit by accessing trials of the very latest discoveries, diagnostic technology and treatment, whilst our development of those new options and understanding will be massively accelerated, to everyone’s benefit