On April 29th 2021 SEDRIC hosted a virtual global meeting: A new era for surveillance of drug resistant infections: recent developments and outlook for the future. Following the success of our Global Meeting in September 2019, we wanted to convene AMR surveillance experts to give updates on country progress, insights into the challenges COVID-19 has presented and looking to future developments.

The current AMR surveillance landscape and the implications of COVID-19 on Drug resistant Infections  [Professor Nick Feasey, SEDRIC Chair]

The SEDRIC resistance map was launched in an effort to show where gaps exist globally and where further investment is needed. You can read more about the map here.  We encourage you to add your projects to highlight where investment is needed and draw international attention to the activities being implemented at regional levels. Some reflections on the COVID-19 key implications for us to consider:

Keynote Speech: Big data start small: Refocused Global AMR Surveillance [Professor Paul Turner]

Professor Paul Turner highlighted the need to strengthen data generation systems, particularly in LMICs, and link clinical data to bacterial identification. He asked if big global data could save the day but acknowledged that maps can only go so far, as data is so sparse and country to country comparisons are difficult or impossible. With more focus on the local situation, the uptake and usefulness of global surveillance will be improved. You can read SEDRIC’s recent paper on how to improve local data management here.

Abstract talks

Short talks were given by 6 members of the SDERIC network. The titles and time in the recording are listed below:

  • Afreenish Amir [Pakistan] – AMR: Experiences from Pakistan AMR surveillance system [31:10]
  • Rebecca Lester [Malawi]- Clinical and economic outcomes of third-generation cephalosporin resistant bloodstream infections at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi [40:21]
  • Oon Tek Ng [Singapore] – Large-scale genomic-epidemiological survey  across public hospitals in Singapore uncovers  persistent CPE reservoirs and significant role of plasmid-mediated transmission [not recorded due to unpublished data]
  • Sabrina Di Gregorio [Argentina] – StaphNET-SA Network for genomic surveillance of Staphylococcus aureus in South America [45:37]
  • Sophie Bowman Derrick and Emmanuel Benyeogor [Australia/Nigeria] – ProMED-AMR [53:37]
  • Michael Chipeta – Estimating the global prevalence of resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae  using a geospatial modelling approach as part of The Global Research on antimicrobial resistance (GRAM) project [1:03:09]

key takeaways from the breakout groups

Our 4 breakout groups were based on the abstract talks listed above:

  • Progress of NAPS in LMICs: Challenges and Successes for the next phase of implementation
  • What role should bacterial genomics play in the future of antimicrobial resistance surveillance?
  • How can we improve the global burden of AMR estimates?
  • Mapping AMR for enhanced planning

Summarised below are the three key takeaways from the plenary feedback of the breakout groups:

  1. Data sharing

This issue was raised in 2 breakout groups. Firstly, in issues around blood culture sampling and how people can be stimulated and encouraged to share the data, both nationally and internationally, to help inform policy. In the enhanced AMR mapping breakout group, it was noted there is a fear of criticism around data quality and confusion over who is responsible for sharing data with the international community.

2. Renewed drive for surveillance and data sharing because of COVID-19

In relation to data sharing, COVID-19 has encouraged experts to share isolates for global sequencing efforts. For example, COG-UK is committed to sharing datasets with international Public Health authorities and data depositories for consensus sequence. Secondly, the genome sequencing breakout group discussed how COVID-19 has highlighted the need for sequencing and that it is not just a luxury but a necessity. There has been significant investment in sequencing equipment globally due the pandemic which will go onto to be utilised for AMR sequencing.   

3. More LMIC government funding is needed

In some LMICs, there is a move from donor funding toward government funding and National Action Plans are being looked at more routinely by local policy makers. However, there is still limited domestic resources allocated to AMR surveillance and funding is still required to strengthen laboratory and communications infrastructure, train clinical and laboratory experts and tackle the growing prevalence of counterfeit and substandard diagnostics which hinder surveillance efforts.

You can view the full recording here [password: SEDRIC_April_2021]

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