JMM Editor’s Choice: an international network to tackle AMR

Posted on November 23, 2020   by Microbiology Society

This month, Dr Tim Inglis discusses ‘The TACTIC experience: establishing an international, interdisciplinary network to tackle antimicrobial resistance’ which was chosen as Editor’s Choice for the October issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

This article from the TACTIC (Tackling AMR Challenges through Translational Interdisciplinary Collaboration) network demonstrates the challenges of establishing and sustaining a genuinely interdisciplinary group to work on a problem as big and complex as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The TACTIC network had to overcome language barriers, travel restrictions and data-handling obstacles on their way to developing specific research projects and outputs. Despite the problems that came with their relatively small size, TACTIC was able to make a start on a pilot project on the life cycle of routine clinical AMR data and follow its path through the local healthcare system. Al-Hassan and colleagues highlight the difficulty in finding long term sustainment funding. Ominously, their main sources of funding ran out before COVID-19 took hold. It will be fascinating to hear what impact the pandemic had on TACTIC’s members and their subsequent research. 

The TACTIC experience: establishing an international, interdisciplinary network to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health threat, which in order to address requires interdisciplinary and international collaborations, though researchers face many challenges in establishing successful collaborations across disciplines and countries. This article presents the experience of ‘TACTIC: Tackling AMR Challenges through Translational Interdisciplinary Collaborations’. Although presented with many challenges, both scientific and logistical, the network has successfully established an interaction between biomedical and social scientists from several countries and fostered true collaboration in an educative, stimulating and sustainable way that forms a platform for important research on AMR. 

Follow the authors on social media:  

Leena Al-Hassan 
Paul Higgins 
James Price 
Jasmin Islam 
Anne Roemer-Mahler 
Melanie Newport 
Ignasi Roca