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Innovating Alternatives: new podcast series with focus on antimicrobial resistance

November 2, 2020

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing problem that threatens our ability to effectively treat bacterial infections in humans and animals. The widespread use of antimicrobials in animals reared for food production can exacerbate the emergence of treatment-resistant microorganisms in food systems, which threatens global health and food security.

Innovating Alternatives is a four-part podcast series that follows researchers supported by the Innovative Veterinary Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance (InnoVet-AMR) initiative as they work to develop new animal vaccines and other innovations to tackle AMR in livestock and aquaculture production, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Research highlights

Trailer: Innovating Alternatives

We owe a lot to antimicrobials, particularly antibiotics. They underpin large swathes of modern medicine and are widely used in intensive food-animal production. However, the large-scale use of antimicrobials has consequences…

Episode 1: A (not so) quick primer on AMR

Featuring: Prof. Dame Sally Davies

A slow-moving tsunami; bacteria that can swap genes; and cooking lobsters. This episode unpacks the biological mechanisms leading to antimicrobial resistant microorganisms, what their emergence means to our way of life, and where we stand in terms of mobilizing global efforts to address the challenge of AMR.

Episode 2: Phages – My enemy’s enemy is my friend

Featuring: Featuring: Prof Paul Ebner, Dr. Nicholas Svitek, Prof Sylvain Moineau, Prof Zafar Hayat, Prof Nicole Widmar, Dr. Zoe Campbell

Chickens, mangoes and hypothetical shopping. In this episode we explore phages, the viruses of bacteria. We talk to researchers who are looking to harness the bacteria-killing abilities of phages to tackle the issue of salmonella in poultry farming in Kenya and Pakistan and how this novel technology might be perceived and adopted by farmers.

Episode 3: The curious case of aquaculture (and AMR)

Featuring: Prof Sophie St. Hilaire, Associate Prof. Dr Natrah Ikhsan, Prof Brian Dixon, Dr. Ha Thang Dong, Dr. Le Hong Phuoc

Nanobubbles, bacterial small talk and a pack of PACAP punks punching holes in bacteria. In this episode we explore the diversity that is aquaculture, and the diverse approaches that researchers are adopting to develop alternatives to antibiotics for farming, the underwater type that is.

InnoVet-AMR is a CA$27.9 million partnership between IDRC and the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global AMR Innovation Fund.