UK-India effort explores diagnostics solutions to AMR in India
A 3-year, £3 million ($3.9 million) collaboration between UK and India researchers seeks to create rapid diagnostics to help address the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India, according to a news release yesterday from the University of Edinburgh, one of the project partners.
The program, called Diagnostics for One Health and User Driven Solutions for AMR (DOSA), will involve nine academic institutions, five from India and four from Britain. Medical researchers, diagnostic innovators, economists and social scientists will create cutting edge, rapid diagnostic solutions to fight AMR in settings as diverse as community healthcare, dairy farms, and aquaculture, according to the release. Project experts will meet Sep 24 and 25 at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to kick off the venture.
The project is jointly funded by UK Research and Innovation/Economic and Social Research Council, the Newton Fund, and Government of India's Department of Biotechnology.
"DOSA gives us the exceptional possibility to create a deep understanding between user needs and diagnostics innovation," said Till Bachmann, PhD, UK project coordinator and deputy head of the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. "The project will focus on community settings in India. It is here where the big drivers of AMR are located, where AMR is a huge burden and where it is exceptionally difficult to implement rapid diagnostics."
Sep 13 University of Edinburgh news release
DOSA project abstract
Systematic review finds probiotics tied to lower antibiotic use in children
Just a week after two small studies panned probiotics for restoring the gut microbiome, a new meta-analysis has found probiotic use to be associated with a reduced need for antibiotics in infants and children, according to a study today in the European Journal of Public Health.
Probiotics are live microorganisms taken to balance the gut microbiota and for other health benefits. The study—a review of 17 randomized controlled trials—included studies that used 13 probiotic formulations, all of which contained Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium either alone or in combination.
An analysis of the pooled data from the studies found that infants and children who received probiotics to prevent acute illnesses like respiratory tract infections had a 29% lower incidence of being prescribed antibiotics compared with those who took placebos. And when the researchers honed in on the five studies with a low risk of bias, probiotics were associated with a 54% lower risk of being prescribed antibiotics.
In a University of Georgetown press release, senior author Daniel Merenstein, MD, of Georgetown's Department of Family Medicine, said, "We already have evidence that consuming probiotics reduces the incidence, duration, and severity of certain types of common acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. The question is whether that reduction is solidly linked to declining use of antibiotics, and we see that there is an association."
By using "association," Merenstein refers to a link between probiotics and antibiotic use, meaning the study did not show that the first definitively caused the latter.
"More studies are needed in all ages, and particularly in the elderly, to see if sustained probiotic use is connected to an overall reduction in antibiotic prescriptions," said the study's lead author, Sarah King, PhD, from Cambridge, United Kingdom. "If so, this could potentially have a huge impact on the use of probiotics in general medicine and consumers in general."
Sep 14 Eur J Public Health study
Sep 14 University of Georgetown news release
Sep 7 CIDRAP News scan "Studies find probiotics lacking for restoring gut microbiome"