Antimicrobial-resistant infections are becoming more frequent and more difficult to treat, and antimicrobial resistance is now recognized as a significant worldwide threat.
In response, the Public Health Agency of Canada recently released a document called “Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action,” which includes a core component of research and innovation in antimicrobials – an area in which GlycoNet researchers are already making strides.
Antimicrobials is one of GlycoNet’s five research themes, and with ten funded projects in this theme, developing new antimicrobials or alternative treatments for resistant infections remains a research focus of many network investigators.
“GlycoNet is pleased to contribute to the type of cross-sectoral, multi-disciplinary research in antimicrobials that the framework has identified as a core component for tackling antimicrobial resistance,” said Dr. Todd Lowary, GlycoNet Scientific Director.
The framework focuses on a One Health approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of humans, animals and the environment. The document states that Canada must take coordinated action that involves all these sectors in order to slow the trend of antimicrobial resistance.
The core components of the framework include: surveillance systems, infection prevention and control, stewardship, and research and innovation. The research and innovation component would ideally include the development of new antimicrobials, as well as alternative therapies.
Many GlycoNet researchers have already begun work in this area with exciting results. Dr. Eric Brown and his collaborators are working on identifying new targets for treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, while a project led by Dr. Lynne Howell is focused on the acetylation of carbohydrates in bacterial biofilms, which could have far-reaching effects on numerous bacterial and fungal infections.
GlycoNet is committed to supporting research in the area of antimicrobials, and will continue to support the translation of this research.