Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health emergency, and threatens the safe delivery of modern medical care. Global projections of the negative impact of AMR predict the loss of nearly 10 million lives, and a cumulative loss of global production up to 100 trillion US dollars by 2050. AMR requires immediate, concerted, international, collaborative action to monitor its prevalence and spread throughout the world. The importance of this has been recognised both by the United Nations, and by the World Health Organisation; the latter has published a list of priority pathogens and a global strategy for AMR surveillance.

The challenges of controlling AMR in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) may be considerable for a number of reasons. Firstly, antibiotics may be available for human and animal use without prescription, resulting in unregulated use. Secondly, accurate data on antimicrobial prescription or consumption may not be readily available. Thirdly, there may be limited knowledge about appropriate use of antibiotics and a lack of antimicrobial policies or stewardship programmes. Finally, there may be limitations in healthcare facilities and laboratory capacity for the detection and management of AMR.

The aim of this course is to address some of these challenges by improving the knowledge and skills of individuals interested in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens in Africa. It will provide a basic introduction to AMR, and practical laboratory training in the laboratory aspects of AMR detection (phenotypic and molecular testing) in bacteria. It will also provide theoretical training on the evolution and spread of AMR and explore the using whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatics analysis and methods for AMR surveillance and control. The content will be globally relevant but tailored to an African setting, and therefore potentially transferable to other LMICs. It will result in training and capacity building of the participants who will be able to transfer their knowledge and skills within their home own institutions and countries. The course will provide an opportunity for participants to network and potentially build a regional AMR network to support longer-term partnerships and collaborations.

Target audience
The course is free to attend and open to applicants based in institutes in Africa. The course is
aimed at PhD students, clinical trainees or specialists in medical microbiology, postdoctoral scientists, senior technicians, or research assistants with a Master’s degree. Applicants should be actively engaged in or soon to commence research, clinical practice, clinical service provision or involvement in developing policies for AMR in bacteria.

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