Infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that enter the body and cause damage to our tissues. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when these infectious agents become resistant to the drugs that would normally kill them or inhibit their growth.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified antimicrobial resistance as one of the top ten global public health threats that has the potential to reverse the great advances of medicine in the last 100 years. The global problem of anti-microbial resistance is largely due to genetic changes that arise in bacteria as these organisms are exposed to antibiotics. This natural form of biological evolution has been accelerated by factors such as misuse of prescription antibiotics, poor adherence to dose and regimens, counterfeit or substandard antibiotic preparations in some countries, poor infection control and global trade and travel.
If antimicrobial resistance advances at its current pace, medicine will reach the point where we are no longer able to treat common bacterial infections. Research organisations, such as Hudson Institute, are joining the worldwide effort to prevent this from happening.
What causes antimicrobial resistance?
Why is antimicrobial resistance a problem?
What are the implications for treatment?
Diagnosis and treatment
How to combat antimicrobial resistance
Our antimicrobial resistance research
Hudson Institute researchers are at the forefront of the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Our researchers have a deep knowledge of bacterial growth dynamics and the diseases they cause, as well as human immune responses to infections, and how bacteria fight back. We are working to overcome antimicrobial resistance by studying
- How common illnesses, such as gastroenteritis and pneumonia are affected by antimicrobial resistance
- How antibiotic resistance spreads
- How bacteria infect cells so we can design drugs to block them
- How our immune system controls bacterial infection so that we can enhance it against drug resistant bacteria and viruses
- Ways to enable our microbiome to resist infection with pathogens
- Identify new compounds and pathways that can be used to target resistant bacteria.
High-tech drug screening against cell-invading bacteria
Molecular studies. New treatments. Repurposing drugs used to treat unrelated conditions is a new approach to treating multidrug resistant bacteria infections.
Led by Professor Elizabeth Hartland, this project uses high-throughput technology to screen drug samples against bacteria that replicate within human cells, including Salmonella Typhimurium and Legionella pneumophila.
Unlike traditional antibiotics that directly target bacteria, this work will identify compounds that boost protective responses in human cells or block human cell processes fundamental to bacterial growth.
Understanding a rapidly emerging type of multidrug resistant Salmonella
Multi-drug resistant Shigella
Antimicrobial resistance in the human microbiota (microorganisms)
New therapies to prevent or treat Helicobacter pylori infection
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Antimicrobial resistance collaborators
- Microbiological Diagnostic Unit and Public Health Laboratories, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne – Prof Deborah Williamson and Dr Danielle Ingle
- Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre – A/Professor Kaylene Simpson
- Wellcome Sanger Institute
- Cambridge University
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