APHA is designated as a Reference Centre for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This designation is held in partnership with the Centre for Environment Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).
Through the Reference Centre, the three agencies work together to raise awareness of AMR and provide a broad portfolio of expertise to support capacity development abroad.
This World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) we have invited colleagues from all three agencies to share examples of what they are doing on or around WAAW to build AMR awareness and support action internationally.
Animal and Plant Health Agency and Cefas
“Earlier this month we represented the Reference Centre at the United Arab Emirates-United Kingdom One Health AMR Consortium hosted by Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. This brought together government and academic experts from both countries to design approaches to improve our understanding of the development and spread of AMR in animals, humans and the environment using phenotypic and genomic approaches. This international collaboration will help us develop combined expertise in AMR to support future surveillance practices and policies.”
Dr Manal AbuOun, APHA and Dr Athina Papadopoulou, Cefas
Veterinary Medicines Directorate
“During WAAW, we will be joining colleagues at the University of Zambia to select two MSc students for a new AMR postgraduate programme, funded by the UK Fleming Fund. VMD is collaborating with this university for the studentship programme, which will support two MSc researchers and one PhD student throughout their studies. The project will enable local students to develop their scientific knowledge and gain academic qualifications, while conducting research which contributes to a better understanding of antimicrobial use in the Zambian livestock sector, providing valuable information in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”
Dr Claire Gilbert and Dr Alison Pyatt
“I am visiting Senegal with Dr Rod Card (APHA) and Dr Elizabeth Marier (VMD) during WAAW. We are meeting with a variety of colleagues, including personnel from the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases team in Senegal and the FAO Reference for AMR at the Institute Pasteur de Dakar, to discuss how the Reference Centre can help strengthen agri-environment AMR surveillance in Senegal. This will help us determine how best to provide additional support through the Reference Centre's Fleming funding and other mechanisms, and also how this support can be aligned with similar activities in other countries supported by the Fleming Fund in West Africa.”
Dr David Verner-Jeffreys
“To celebrate and raise awareness for the of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2023, I am representing the UK’s FAO Reference Centre for AMR at the webinar ‘Avoiding AMR together: Ensuring healthy and safe aquatic foods’ which is organised by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of the FAO in collaboration with the FAO Reference Centres for AMR and Aquaculture Biosecurity, on 27 November 2023. During the webinar, I will present the surveillance programmes for AMR that can be implemented in farmed aquatic animals on par with WOAH recommendations and will share our knowledge and experiences from the pilot surveillance programmes in UK.”
Dr Athina Papadopoulou
Animal and Plant Health Agency
“In early November, I was invited to the New Haw Junior School to talk about AMR to Year 6 pupils (aged 10 to 11 years). This school is in the same Surrey village as our APHA headquarters, and my visit was part of the school’s Golden Futures programme. I was able to talk about my work on antimicrobial resistance with 90 enthusiastic pupils and was amazed by how much the children already knew and their really insightful questions.
The week after WAAW I will be in Thailand to attend a Regional AMR Technical Advisory Group Meeting for the animal health sector, following an invitation from the FAO which is organising the event. This meeting will see delegates from across South and South-East Asia gather to share updates on their ongoing work on AMR and to identify new opportunities to work together to tackle it.”
Dr Ramon P. Maluping
We hope that during WAAW everyone has had an opportunity to learn something new about AMR and consider how together we can contribute to the prevention of antimicrobial resistance.
If you want to learn more about the work of the AMR Reference Centre, please email us.