Subject: AMR eNews - March 12th, 2020

AMR eNews - March 12th, 2020
antimicrobial resistance
research & policy

global headlines

Discussing the ABCs of health security — Antibiotic resistance, Biothreats, and Coronavirus

Antibiotic resistance is another driver for changes in emerging infectious disease.” —Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director, Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Journal of the American Medical Association: There are drivers of increasing emergence in infectious disease: The ability to have something travel from one part of the world to the other in a day or two; the proximity with which people are living with animals in high numbers; and the increasing encroachment of people onto environments where only animals lived. There's also climate change, and antibiotic resistance is another driver for changes in emerging infectious disease.

Big pharma failing to invest in new antibiotics, says WHO

“Never has the threat of antimicrobial resistance been more immediate and the need for solutions more urgent.”
—Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO

The Guardian: Big pharma continues to walk away from investment in new antibiotics and there are alarmingly few useful new drugs in the pipeline to deal with the worsening crisis of antibiotic resistance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Two reports paint a bleak picture. Efforts to discover new antibiotics are “insufficient to tackle the challenge of increasing emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance,” says a review of clinical development.

Reframing the antimicrobial resistance crisis

"Remedying the problems with the antimicrobial market requires us to reframe the philosophical and moral case for it completely." —Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
The Hill: Antimicrobials are special amongst classes of pharmaceuticals for several reasons, including their use in the treatment and prevention of infections. Antimicrobials also have a role in national security, as they are a vital component of the medical countermeasures to be used during a biological attack or during contagious infectious disease outbreaks. But high levels of resistance could render them ineffective.

Machine learning takes on antibiotic resistance

“Using algorithms, we can start to find new properties in molecules that were used for something completely different.” 
—César de la Fuente, Presidential Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine
Quanta Magazine: A group of researchers from MIT, the Broad Institute, Harvard, and McMaster University announced in a new Cell report that they — and a powerful deep learning algorithm — had found a totally new antibiotic, one with an unconventional mechanism of action that allows it to fight infections that are resistant to multiple drugs. The compound was hiding in plain sight, because humans didn’t know what to look for. But the computer did.
canadian responses

Scientists find new antibiotic with 'unique approach' to
killing bacteria

"Bacteria have a wall around the outside of their cells that gives them shape and is a source of strength. Antibiotics like penicillin kill bacteria by preventing building of the wall, but the antibiotics that we found actually work by doing the opposite—they prevent the wall from being broken down." —Beth Culp, a PhD candidate studying at McMaster University's Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR)
Daily Mail: New research published in Nature describes 'a unique approach' to killing bacteria that has never been seen before. Researchers from McMaster University believe the newly-found corbomycin could be a 'promising clinical candidate' in the quest to tackle the growing issue of microbes becoming resistant to antibiotics. Corbomycin kills bacteria by blocking the function of their cell wall, a phenomenon scientists have observed for the first time.

Bacteriophages may play a role in childhood stunting

“Because phages are as abundant as their hosts, they might be involved in regulating them in many ways."
—Corinne Maurice, Assistant Professor, McGill’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology

McGill University Newsroom: New research spearheaded by McGill University has discovered that bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) found in the intestinal tracts of children may play a role in childhood stunting, a significant impediment to growth that affects 22% of children under the age of five around the world. The study, published in Cell Host & Microbe, also suggests that these viruses could also be used to improve health. 

Antibiotics in animals: more research urgently needed

"As the threat of antimicrobial resistance grows, stewardship of these vital drugs is increasingly important in both human and animal health." —Animal Health Research Reviews, 2019
Phys.Org: A special issue of Animal Health Research Reviews looks at the evidence base for using antibiotics to prevent illness in beef and dairy cattle, swine, and broiler poultry. The scientists who introduce the collection—from the University of Guelph and Iowa State University—conclude that veterinarians and food-animal producers know far too little about prevention or control measures, including antibiotic efficacy and antibiotic alternatives.
learning resources
The Council of Canadian Academies (2019): When Antibiotics Fail
G20 (Prepared by OECD, WHO, FAO and OIE) (2017): Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance - Ensuring Sustainable R&D
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019): Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019
Jim O'Neill, Commissioned by the UK Prime Minister (2016): 
Tackling Drug-resistant Infections Globally: Report & Recommendations

reports & publications
Uncovering the hidden antibiotic potential of cannabis

American Chemical Society: Cannabis sativa has long been known to contain antibacterial cannabinoids, but their potential to address antibiotic resistance has only been superficially investigated.
Using sewage for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance

Science: The implementation of a global sewage-based antimicrobial resistance surveillance system would have substantial and rapid benefits, especially in resource-poor settings.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission on AMR: 6 years later

The Lancet: In 2013, The Lancet described the state of AMR globally. Since then, awareness of the public health ramifications of AMR has led to national actions and global initiatives.

Science: Evolution experiments on the clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus in vitro revealed a new way by which tolerance promotes the evolution of resistance under combination treatments.
who we are

The Canadian Anti-infective Innovation Network (CAIN) is a consortium of over 80 leaders, researchers, clinicians, and policymakers from Canadian universities, companies, governments, and not-for-profit organizations committed to addressing the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). CAIN members span human and animal health sectors, reflecting the fact that AMR is a One Health issue.

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The Canadian Anti-infective Innovation Network (CAIN) AMR eNews is proudly sponsored by the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery (DBCAD)For all communications, including any questions, comments, or suggestions that you may have regarding the AMR newsletter, please contact DBCAD Communications Coordinator Christy Groves at
The Canadian Anti-infective
Innovation Network (CAIN)

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

The David Braley Centre for
Antibiotic Discovery
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

The Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4)
McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

McMaster University, 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8, Canada
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