A ‘One Health’ approach to tackle the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Impact: Social impacts, Quality of life impacts

Description of impact

The impact of our research has been to raise awareness amongst external organisations of the issues surrounding AMR, and the threat it poses to society, food production and the environment. Notably, our continuing collaboration with Welsh Water has helped to raise industry awareness of antibiotic resistance and the role of sewage treatment plants in its dissemination into the environment. Antibiotic resistance now features in Welsh Water’s 2050 business plan and our research has an increasing profile in the sector.We anticipate that the future impact of our research will be greater collaboration between the various actors involved in public health because, uniquely, our work moves beyond traditional discipline boundaries.
Our current collaboration with Welsh Water is looking at the balance of AMR from human and veterinary sources in a river catchment – a subject that will engage with the water and farming sectors, environmental regulators, and environmental NGOs. We expect the results of this work to influence policy development in Wales, and the Welsh Government has recently established the Animals and the Environment AMR Delivery group - demonstrating the growing interest in this area.
As a young research group, we have chosen to promote our work through direct contact with people we want to work with to achieve the objectives above.
- We work with a variety of private and public external partners. We work with Welsh Water, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Velindre Cancer Centre, the CF unit in Llandough, Rescape (VR software manufacturers), Public Health Wales, Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Feed Food Future, the Environment Agency, Bryn Power and GP Biotech.
- We are in the process of building collaborations with healthcare staff who work with older people, and with a university in Korea.
- We also have other internal collaborators within the university (in Biology, in SERC, and in Electronic Engineering).
- We also engage with the public, with EH and SR presenting their work on AMR as part of ‘Soapbox Science’ events in Swansea and Cardiff, EH running a microbiology session for a local music and science festival (2018, 2019), and RS running a twitter campaign ‘#cleanyourphone’ in order to raise awareness amongst healthcare staff about the importance of clean phones for hand hygiene, which reached as far as the US.

How did your research contribute?

- We presented to the Welsh Water ‘Wastewater Innovation Forum’ and are presenting again to their Senior Management meeting in November.
- We presented at the ‘Anaerobic Digestion’ conference last month
- We presented our work investigating infection control risks associated with the use of technology in hospitals to the Aneurin Bevan Health Board conference and as a result, we were asked for our input in writing an All-Wales infection control policy for the National Mobilisation Programme within healthcare.
- We presented at the ‘Don’t Panic!’ infection control conference organised by the Healthcare Infection Society. As a result, they have invited us to write a blog for their website on our work.
- We work with Velindre Cancer Centre and the CF unit at Llandough on the use of VR in healthcare. Our results have directly informed them with their choice of the most appropriate headset and cleaning intervention.
- We work with ‘Feed Farm Future’ to develop novel alternatives to antibiotics for use in pig feed. This company works closely with the pig industry, and our results will therefore have direct impact on the industry and help guide their choice of food supplements, reducing dependence on clinical antibiotics.
- Our research developing a new diagnostic for use in urinary tract infections has previously been funded by the Longitude Prize. We were recently shortlisted for an MRC Biocatalyst award to continue this work. If successful, this project will result in a prototype device which will help guide antibiotic prescribing decisions at point-of-care, thus reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics. We are already working with GPs and Public Health Wales on this project, which will have both societal and economic impact.

Who is affected?

- We work with a variety of private and public external partners. We work with Welsh Water, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Velindre Cancer Centre, the CF unit in Llandough, Rescape (VR software manufacturers), Public Health Wales, Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Feed Food Future, the Environment Agency, Bryn Power and GP Biotech.
- We are in the process of building collaborations with healthcare staff who work with older people, and with a university in Korea.
- We also have other internal collaborators within the university (in Biology, in SERC, and in Electronic Engineering).
- We also engage with the public, with EH and SR presenting their work on AMR as part of ‘Soapbox Science’ events in Swansea and Cardiff, EH running a microbiology session for a local music and science festival (2018, 2019), and RS running a twitter campaign ‘#cleanyourphone’ in order to raise awareness amongst healthcare staff about the importance of clean phones for hand hygiene, which reached as far as the US.
Impact date2016
Category of impactSocial impacts, Quality of life impacts
Impact levelIn preparation