Collaboration between different areas of research is paramount in tackling resistant bacteria, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said in its recent report on the subject. The Antimicrobial Resistance Funders Forum (ARFF) will coordinate the work of medical researchers, biologists, engineers, vets, economists, social scientists, mathematicians and designers, to address all aspects of a multi-faceted problem, and will support research under four different themes: understanding resistant bacteria, therapeutic and diagnostic development, understanding real-world interactions, and human behaviour.
Theme 1: Understanding resistant bacteria in the context of the host. Covering both human and animal bacteria, it will encompass understanding of resistance from genomic, through to cellular and host pathogen interaction. It will aim to deliver new targets for potential treatments, ways of predicting and influencing the evolution of resistance and targets for diagnosing bacterial types, virulence and resistance. This call is open.
Theme 2: Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostics development. Addressing the development of new (and revisiting of old) small molecule antibiotics and delivery strategies. Development of new non-small molecule based treatments to avoid resistance altogether and the diagnostics to target all of these therapies including rapid point of care diagnostics.
Theme 3: Understanding the real world interactions. It is clear that the environment and the way people and communities interact with the environment hugely influences the way bacteria behave and the transmission of genes within and between bacterial species.
Theme 4: Behaviour within and beyond the health care setting. This theme will aim to elucidate the underpinning motivations for human behaviours relating to AMR, and how behaviour can affect development and spread of antibacterial resistance. It will also explore how to best enable effective behaviour change interventions in a variety of settings, relevant to both humans and animals. It may also serve as the basis for research into the economics of AMR.