Guest blog: AMR in India

  14 January 2020

Guest Blog by AMR Insights Ambassador Amritanjali Kiran

I am working as a Senior Associate-Programs at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) in the Antimicrobial Resistance Project. The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms is an initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. The Centre provides a comprehensive all-round support system to bio-entrepreneurs with challenging ideas. C-CAMP has recognised the challenges posed by AMR and is spreading awareness and developing solutions about AMR in India and the world by organising summer schools, workshops and talks related to funding available for AMR research. Currently, C-CAMP is incubating seven start-ups/innovators and individuals who are working under three verticals: Preventive, Diagnostics and Therapeutics. My role includes outreach and spreading awareness about Antimicrobial Resistance. I also do the outreach for CARB-X funding rounds. I organise workshops, deliver webinars and roadshows to spread awareness about Antimicrobial Resistance and funding opportunities available for AMR innovators and researchers. Being involved with the AMR project, I am very much interested in spreading awareness about AMR in Low- and Middle-Income countries as well as the rest of the world.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the most critical global issues for human and animal health in terms of societal impact. However, we need to admit that now AMR cannot be mitigated by the administration of antibiotics only. It’s high time that we all from multiple professions sitting in different corners of the world join hands together. As a senior associate in the Antimicrobial resistance project in C-CAMP, it’s my responsibility and social duty to join hands with the workers in this field and contribute my part to solve the critical issue of AMR which doesn’t differentiate between the boundaries. AMR Insights is one of its kind platforms which brings together all pioneers working to combat AMR. The experience of the experts of AMR will help us to find the solution and drive us to accelerate the innovations to address the emergence of highly resistant superbugs.

The antimicrobial resistance is not limited to the boundaries of the countries. It has anchored its root in the whole world and has become a global health threat. Development of resistance in microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi to antimicrobial drugs leads to AMR. When resistant to several antimicrobial drugs they are commonly known as superbugs. It is well known that bacteria evolve at a fast rate and can quickly transfer their genes to other sensitive bacteria helping them to become resistant. This is the biggest hurdle for scientists to discover any novel drugs against a pathogen. As soon as the drugs come into the market, the pathogens are resistant against them.

Lack of awareness amongst the ordinary people leads to overconsumption of the antibiotics. It is a significant challenge to spread awareness amongst the common people. Along with that new rapid diagnostic methods should be developed, which will help physicians to prescribe specific antimicrobials instead of generic ones to the patients.

AMR is the principal global health threat. India is the largest antibiotic consumer in the world and is the top candidate for this threat. A significant step from academics and industries needs to be taken to slow down the pace of AMR with the combination of advanced research and new-age technology. With the help of combined efforts from chemists, pharmacists, microbiologists, computational chemistry, artificial intelligence and data-driven systems, the drug developers should hunt for the new small molecules which can attack the pathogens.

 

  Maarten...
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