As an initiative to increase awareness on global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), as well as to encourage best practices among the general public, and health workers to stop the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections, *WHO has declared November 18-24 as the Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).
In accordance with this, on November 20, 2020, Amrita School of Biotechnology hosted a one-day colloquium- ALARM ( Amrita Legion for Antimicrobial Resistance Management).
Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean, Amrita School of Biotechnology, kick-started the event with his charismatic welcome and introductory remarks. The distinguished guests were the world's leading scientists, Dr. Victor Nizet and Dr. Kalai Mathee, who spoke on "Antimicrobial Resistance and its Importance in the Scientific Future".
The formal session held in the morning was followed by a lively and interactive student session in the afternoon. This session showcased 2 main events, Brainstorming and Quiz. Brainstorming was a discussion between students on various sub-topics of AMR, followed by a thrilling Quiz covering prominent topics such as General Science, Life Sciences, AMR and Covid-19.
Dr. Kalai Mathee
Dr. Kalai Mathee is Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Florida International University.
Dr. Mathee’s research accomplishments include seminal work on Pseudomonas aeruginosa antibiotic resistance, alginate gene regulation & genome-wide studies on evolution, environmental adaptation and microbiomes.
She has over 120 publications and is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Medical Microbiology and has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Victor Nizet
Dr. Victor Nizet is Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Basic Research and Chief of the Division of Host-Microbe Systems & Therapeutics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine as well as Distinguished Professor at UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Nizet has authored over 465 peer-reviewed publications Dr. Nizet's work has been recognized by numerous associations such as The American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the American Asthma Foundation. Dr. Nizet is also the recipient of the NIH Merit Award and leads a basic and translational research laboratory focused on discovering virulence factors of invasive bacterial pathogens, elucidating mechanisms of host innate immunity, and novel approaches to infectious disease therapy. He is also currently leading the initiative for the UCSD Collaborative to Halt Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes (CHARM).
Antimicrobial Resistance — a Major Global Health Threat of the 21st Century and Search for Novel Therapeutic Agents
Increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the global capacity for responding to infectious diseases. Drug-resistant microbes will kill about 10 million people worldwide, becoming the leading cause of mortality by 2050 and costing around $100 trillion in lost output. Although antibiotics naturally select for resistant strains, widespread and unregulated use in animal husbandry, agriculture, and integrated fish farming to improve production has accelerated the development of drug resistance. In developing countries, additional socio-economic factors such as poverty, poor sanitation, and inadequate health care and surveillance systems enhance the spread of resistant strains. There is an urgent need to develop new strategies to identify antimicrobials or extend the life of those currently in use. Even with novel therapeutics, resistance will continue to increase without education, research, and infrastructure improvement. The talk will focus on Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a case study and educational efforts underway in Asia for community education.
Collaborating with the Innate Immune System to Treat Multidrug-Resistant Superbugs
Antibiotic resistance presents an ever-increasing challenge to the public health with a dearth of new drugs in the development pipeline. A single-minded focus on direct antimicrobial activities overlooks the fact that significant infections are really a disease of the host-pathogen interaction. Indeed, before the patient has even seen a doctor, their infection is already being treated by multiple antimicrobials - namely the cellular and molecular components of the innate immune system. We see value in exploring potential novel therapeutic approaches for drug-resistant bacteria that aim to tip the host-pathogen interaction back in favor of the host. This talk will illustrate novel therapeutics that re-sensitize the pathogen to innate immune killing or directly boost the antibacterial killing capacity of host cells.
Schedule of Event
9:00 AM: Prayer followed by welcome and Introduction by Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
9:15 AM: Invited Talk by Dr. Kalai Mathee, Ph.D., Florida International University
10:15 AM: Keynote Address by Dr.Victor Nizet, MD, Ph.D. University of California San Diego, California
Vote of Thanks
1:00 PM: Brainstorming session
1:45 PM: Quiz
2:30 PM: Vote of Thanks