Subject: AMR eNews - October 8th, 2019

AMR eNews - October 8th, 2019
antimicrobial resistance
research & policy

global headlines

Remembering Stuart Levy

“It is hard to overstate his importance in limiting the spread of antibiotic resistance, particularly in hospital settings.” John Leong & Ralph Isberg, Levy’s colleagues at Tufts University
The Scientist: Best known for his pioneering research on antibiotic resistance, the Tufts University researcher and physician died September 4 after an extended illness. He was 80 years old.

Germany takes the lead establishing the Global AMR R&D Hub

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research will provide up to 500 million euros over the next ten years towards research to combat antimicrobial resistance.
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany)This initiative to tackle the threat of resistant pathogens is designed to make the use of international resources even more effective. It should enable research scientists to develop more new antibiotics and treatments against infections.

New treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis wins FDA approval

“Drug-resistant tuberculosis is the largest single source of antimicrobial resistance in the world.”  - Mel Spigelman, president of the TB Alliance
Nature: Nearly 90% of people infected with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis who took this treatment during a clinical trial recovered in 6 months. The average success rate for drug regimens currently used to treat XDR tuberculosis is around 34%.

REAP: Reducing Emissions from Antibiotics Production

Emissions of antibiotics from pharmaceutical manufacturing are one of the many drivers for AMR.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)Presented at World Water Week 2019, the Reducing Emissions from Antibiotics Production (REAP) initiative aims to support the pharmaceutical sector’s shift to more sustainable production practices.

canadian solutions

Fuelling the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

This two-day symposium will bring together leading experts from across the world to present on the state of the international AMR challenge and to showcase recent global advances in AMR research and discovery.
McMaster UniversityThe Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery will host the 2019 International Gairdner Symposium on the growing global crisis of antimicrobial resistance on November 14th and 15th, 2019.

Scientists looking at phages to help fight superbugs

“These superbug-killing viruses hold huge promise in saving lives at a time when some antibiotics no longer can.” - Kas Roussy, CBC News
CBC's The NationalResearchers take a closer look at bacteriophages, a kind of virus that scientists say act as a ‘natural predator’ to bacteria, to see if they can help battle the superbugs that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance: why tests are key to arresting the trend

A new study explains how successfully identifying infection-causing bacteria is key to controlling antibiotic resistance.
The Conversation: Research from McGill University, the University of British Columbia and Harvard Medical School shows that testing bacterial cultures before antibacterial therapy is initiated allows health workers to more efficiently identify the causative agents of an infection, in turn allowing them to prescribe the right antibiotic and discontinue those that are not needed. 

CAIN member reports & publications
09 September 2019

Hidden antibiotics in actinomycetes can be identified by inactivation of gene clusters for common antibiotics.
Actinobacteria are one of the largest bacterial phyla, comprising between 13 and 30% of the soil microbiota. They are the main source of antibiotic classes in clinical use; yet, during screens for antimicrobials, as many as 50% of actinomycete strains are discarded because they produce a known antibiotic. Researchers at McMaster have developed a novel strategy that can be applied to existing strain collections to realize the biosynthetic potential of this group.
31 August 2019

Comparison of different approaches to antibiotic restriction in food-producing animals: stratified results from a systematic review and meta-analysis
The World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and World Organization for Animal Health calls for a One Health approach to address the global antimicrobial resistance crisis. This study from the University of Calgary finds that interventions that broadly target overall antibiotic use or restrict the use of multiple antibiotic classes are recommended as these appear to be associated with reductions in antibiotic resistance.
01 July 2019

Thiostrepton hijacks pyoverdine receptors to inhibit growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
01 July 2019

Kisameet Clay Exhibits Potent Antibacterial Activity against the ESKAPE Pathogens
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a biofilm-forming, opportunistic pathogen that is intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics. In a screen for molecules that modulate biofilm formation, researchers found that an antibiotic called thiostrepton (TS) stimulated P. aeruginosa biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner. This study shows that the biofilm stimulation phenotype can reveal cryptic sub-inhibitory antibiotic activity, and that TS has activity against select multidrug resistant Gram-negative pathogens under iron-limited growth conditions.
ESKAPE pathogens cause an increasing number of nosocomial infections worldwide as they escape the inhibitory effect of both available antibiotics and the immune response. In this study, researchers report the broad-spectrum and potent antibacterial activity of Kisameet clay - a natural clay mineral from British Columbia - against a group of multidrug-resistant ESKAPE strains. Their results suggest that this natural clay could be developed as a therapeutic option for the treatment of serious infections caused by these important pathogens.

GLOBAL AMR R&D HUB (2019): Global knowledge centre and driving force for AMR R&D across the One Health continuum (Flyer)

The Canadian Anti-infective Innovation Network (CAIN) (2017): Drug Resistant Infections & Antimicrobial Resistance: A Pressing Threat to Modern Medicine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017): Saving Lives By Taking A One Health Approach
G20 (Prepared by OECD, WHO, FAO & OIE) (2017): Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance - Ensuring Sustainable R&D
Jim O'Neill (Commissioned by the UK Prime Minister) (2016): Tackling Drug-resistant Infections Globally: Final Report And Recommendations
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.

Stay up to date regarding the latest news in AMR research and policy.

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 for our next edition, 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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