Tackling antimicrobial resistance in the north

Through a suite of projects, HOT NORTH is involved in tackling the challenge of AMR in northern Australia and neighbouring countries.

The danger posed to Australia’s tropical north by drug resistant TB (DR-TB) is well recognised. Just to our north, Daru, PNG, is a world hot-spot for DR-TB.

Led by Dr Suman Majumdar, a HOT NORTH-funded team of researchers commenced a comprehensive household contact screening in Daru as a routine programmatic activity, a first for PNG. As a result, in October 2018, 212 children under five had been started on preventative therapy.

Further afield, HOT NORTH fellow Dr Chris Lowbridge undertook field visits to Malaysia and Indonesia as part of a program of work partnering with local clinician researchers to better characterise the TB epidemics and strengthen local systems for TB prevention and control.

In Australia, projects studied social factors potentially important for an effective response against AMR and identified gaps and opportunities to promote antimicrobial stewardship in remote medical services.

In addition, HOT NORTH researcher, Dr Teresa Wozniak, led the development of HOTspots, a tool, which provides information on hotspots of superbugs to end-users (clinicians, pharmacists, laboratory staff and policy-makers) across northern Australia. HOTspots is available at www.amrhotspots.com.au