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30 June 2016

posted Jun 30, 2016, 4:47 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Aug 2, 2016, 7:14 AM ]
NIHR DEC Leeds joins battle against antimicrobial resistance

The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Leeds (NIHR DEC Leeds) is collaborating in a £3.8m project to accelerate the development of infection diagnostic tests.

The project, based at the University of Leeds, is funded by the Medical Research Council, and is a response to the urgent need to limit the number of antibiotics that are prescribed for patients unnecessarily.

A highly interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Faculties of Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Medicine and Health will collaborate on the project, which aims to develop a new test that can be used by doctors to detect the presence of a bacterial or viral infection quickly before antibiotics are prescribed.

The test will be able to identify which bacterial strain has caused the infection, as different strains require different treatments, and whether the particular type is commonly resistant to antibiotics. 

With support from NIHR DEC Leeds, the test will progress from concept stage through to the clinic with expert guidance through the required regulatory hurdles.

Professor Peter Selby, Director of the NIHR DEC Leeds, said: “We need to do more to limit the over-prescription of antibiotics. By providing GPs with a tool that can rapidly detect different types of infection we can help conserve the number of antibiotic drugs that remain effective against bacteria.”

Dr Mike Messenger, Deputy Director and Scientific Manager of DEC Leeds, said: “DEC is in a great position to help the team gather and present the necessary clinical evidence to get this test into the clinic. We’re very much looking forward to working closely with our Faculty colleagues to make rapid progress on this project.”

The grant is one of three recently awarded under the Medical Research Council’s AMR cross-council initiative, totalling £9.5m. The initiative draws together interdisciplinary teams to tackle the global problem of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics.

Funded by the MRC, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Physical Social Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) the initiative is part of a strategic and co-ordinated effort to address the growing problem head on.

For more information on the AMR cross-council initiative, please visit: