Pharmacy experts on aggressive mode to devise strategies to tackle antimicrobial resistance

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Pharmacy experts from the academia and the research centres in the country are now on an aggressive mode to devise strategies to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As a global concern, the impact is so profound that AMR is being tackled on war footing.

There is growing concern as new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening the ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability and fatality. Hence it is the responsibility of pharmacists, doctors, dentists, paramedical practitioners, researchers, teachers and students to create a platform for exchange of ideas and to share the knowledge and approaches to take this challenge head on.

Taking the lead in this initiative is PES College of Pharmacy, Bengaluru has recently organised an International Conference to bring to the fore experts for highlighting this aspect which is crucial and affecting the entire world.

The conference was aimed at bringing into focus the problem as well as creating a platform for exchange of ideas and to share the knowledge and approaches to take this challenge head on. We had invited eminent scientists from India and other countries as resource persons. All our efforts were directed towards getting the involvement of eminent scientists, researchers & research scholars who are doing pioneering work in this field to exchange and share their experiences and research outcomes. Such eminent persons from different countries were invited to deliver lectures during the 2-day conference, stated the organisers.

AMR happens when microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites mutate when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals and antimalarials. Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are referred to as superbugs. WHO too has been leading multiple initiatives for AMR to address antimicrobial resistance like World Antibiotic Awareness Week held in the month of November every year since 2015 with the theme ‘Antibiotics: Handle with care’.

We see AMR as a complex problem that affects all of society and is driven by many interconnected factors. Single, isolated interventions have limited impact. Multipronged and entirely new approach is required to minimize the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Greater innovation and investment are required in research and development of new antimicrobial medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools. Steps can be taken at all levels of society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance, said a panel of experts.

According to Dr. Dipshikha Chakravarthy, associate professor, Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, the bacteria and their ability to survive is unimaginable. It has a smart in-built mechanism.

Prof. Marc Devocelle, associate professor of Chemistry/Erasmus, RCSI Chemistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland highlighted on the Pro drugs and Peptidomimetics of membrane active peptides research. This has created a huge demand for novel antibiotics and for this reason antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted considerable interest, since they often show broad-spectrum activity, fast killing and high cell selectivity.

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