Global research consortium to help address antimicrobial resistance

02 May 2023

Catherine Eckford / European Pharmaceutical Review

Researchers in the UK, South Africa, Uganda and Brazil have formed the Centres for Antimicrobial Optimisation Network (CAMO-Net) to optimise antimicrobial use globally.

A new global research consortium is being established to address the global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Centres for Antimicrobial Optimisation Network (CAMO-Net), brings together research teams from the University of Liverpool and Imperial College London in the UK, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of São Paulo in Brazil.

CAMO-Net aims to optimise antimicrobial use in humans through a sustainable global research ecosystem, developed across low, middle, and high resource settings, and across urban and rural environments.

Professor Alison Holmes from the University of Liverpool and Imperial College London, UK, declared: ”Not only will this network provide a unique opportunity to advance multidisciplinary research to improve and sustain access to effective antimicrobial treatments and address AMR, it has shared international learning embedded within it and also represents a major commitment to more equitable research models.”

Researchers will work to build knowledge in optimal antibiotics use, improved access to effective treatment and better prevention and treatment of bacterial infections. The initiative will help to improve clinical decision-making regarding antimicrobial use and also inform practices and guidelines for prescribers, users and policymakers.

Uganda’s engagement in the CAMO-Net was hailed by Dr Andrew Kambugu, Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda as a “landmark opportunity” to generate research to help overcome AMR in the region.

The consortium’s key operations will be in regions with extremely high burden of drug-resistant infections, while using a multi-sectoral, systems-based approach to improving antimicrobial use.

CAMO-Net will work with its partners to research how to actionably improve antimicrobial use in humans through three interlinked themes identified through a Wellcome-commissioned roadmap.

The consortium’s National Hubs

The four sites form ‘National Hubs’ responsible for driving the research and leading the global network. Each hub has specific and complementary multidisciplinary research expertise.

Each National Hub will receive individual funding, with awards linking directly to those of the other three countries. This will aim to improve research equity by ensuring local leadership and facilitating joint ownership of the programme across partners. These elements form the consortium’s core values alongside knowledge mobilisation, output sharing and mutual cross-regional learning.

The network aims to build a comprehensive contextual understanding of situational data in each National Hub to identify opportunities to address existing gaps and challenges.

“Our funding for CAMO-Net will support research that generates new knowledge about how best to preserve and sustain their efficacy, drawing on local contexts where the burden of drug-resistant infections is highest. This will help guide more effective and tailored interventions from policymakers and prescribers, ensuring patients can continue to benefit from these lifesaving medicines into the future,” Timothy Jinks, Head of Infectious Disease Interventions at Wellcome commented.

“Ensuring optimal antimicrobial use requires an understanding of context-specificity, however, for far too long our understanding and actions have been informed mainly from high-resource settings in the global north,” noted Marc Mendelson, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Head of Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, University of Cape Town.

Therefore, “CAMO-Net provides the opportunity to understand the social contexts, central to enabling antimicrobial optimisation in low- and middle-income (LMICs) countries,” Mendelson stated.

CAMO-Net pilot project

CAMO-Net also includes three ‘Shadow National Sites’ which will participate in network activities and develop a pilot project as part of the larger CAMO-Net programme.

The Shadow National Sites include: 

Dow University of Health Sciences in Pakistan
Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh
Unversidade da Paz in Timor Leste, supported by Menzies School of Health Research.

The formation of this new consortium builds on the global demond for overcoming AMR. In December 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on global AMR trends and the surveillance of antimicrobial use:



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