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New targets for infectious disease - tackling antimicrobial resistance

36 months
Approved budget:
Professor Emily Parker
Dr Wanting Jiao
Professor Peter Tyler
Professor Gregory Cook
Associate Professor Jeremy Lott
Dr Gerd Mittelstadt
Dr Matthew McNeil
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a significant global health challenge and an imminent threat to New Zealand. The increasing number of extremely drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria has rendered some antimicrobial treatments ineffective. New Zealand has one of the highest use of antimicrobials in the world, and resistance in a wide range of bacteria to commonly used antimicrobial medicines is rapidly emerging. Over the past 20 years, community-acquired resistant pathogens have been spreading in New Zealand, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacteriaceae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. AMR continues to worsen as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, due to resources deployed away from antimicrobial stewardship, substantial pre-emptive antibiotic use in COVID-19 patients, and deteriorating economic conditions. We urgently need the development of new antimicrobial drugs to combat AMR. This project will use our established drug discovery platform to target an essential biosynthetic pathway to provide new drug therapies for infectious disease.