Raising awareness of AMR: WHO report on best approaches

Dear All,

In addition to forming the inaugural WHO Task Force of AMR Survivors, the WHO has also recently released a report entitled “Awareness-raising on Antimicrobial Resistance: Report of global consultation meetings.” 

The report is based on discussions at two meetings held by WHO with stakeholders from across the world. Even before opening the report, I was most encouraged to read that “Deliberations from the consultations showed a clear global convergence of ideas in the core areas of AMR awareness raising in terms of key audiences, areas of work, and engagement approaches.”!

As I always say, you really ought to read the report for yourself. The major highlights to my eye are:

  • Top target audiences for awareness are young people/students, the media, parliamentarians, and policymakers.
  • Priority topics for awareness raising are appropriate use of antimicrobials, One Health coordination at a national level, explaining and understanding the basics of AMR, and better regulation of over-the-counter antimicrobial sales
  • Engage experts in other areas, use human interest stories to spread awareness, identify specific audiences for focused messaging, and focus on the socioeconomic impact of AMR.
  • Communicating continuously with stakeholders to keep antimicrobial awareness in the forefront has to happen. The WHO’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is not nearly enough! 
  • Connect AMR with other more widely known topics in the news (e.g. climate change, COVID, pollution, etc.) in order to maintain awareness.
  • Harmonize and collaborate across all sectors to continue the good work! 


While reflecting on what you/we might do in response to these ideas, I’d also suggest you review the conclusions from Wellcome’s investigation of best language for communicationhttps://wellcome.org/reports/reframing-antimicrobial-resistance-antibiotic-resistance. That report features quantitative and qualitative message testing with 12,000 people in Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, the UK, the USA and Thailand and provides a five-element framework for optimal communication:

  1. Frame antimicrobial resistance as undermining modern medicine
  2. Explain the fundamentals succinctly
  3. Emphasize that this is a universal issue; it affects everyone, including you
  4. Focus on the here and now
  5. Encourage immediate action


Note how the 5 elements really revolve around making AMR personal … this could happen to you! As an example of a relatable human interest story, check out my YouTube video on Cast Away. Without access to effective antibiotics, who knows what would have happened to Tom Hanks!


So, get busy and think about how you can become an advocate for AMR-related work!

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Operating Partner, Advent Life Sciences. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: https://amr.solutions/blog/. All opinions are my own.

Current funding opportunities (most current list is here)

  • The AMR Industry Alliance has announced their 2022 Stewardship Prize! The program offers 10,000 CHF to recognize established, innovative approaches to AMR stewardship in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The 2021 prize went to the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) in Kampala, Uganda for their best practices in diagnostic stewardship and for their patient awareness campaigns dedicated to decreasing inappropriate use of antibiotics in their specialist HIV clinic in Kampala. Applications for the 2022 prize are due August 31, 2022. Thinking in terms of stewardship, WHO have recently released a pair of courses through the OpenWHO platform:
  • The AMR Action Fund is now open to proposals for funding of Phase 2 / Phase 3 antibacterial therapeutics. Per its charter, the fund prioritizes investment in treatments that address a pathogen prioritized by the WHO, the CDC and/or other public health entities that: (i) are novel (e.g., absence of known cross-resistance, novel targets, new chemical classes, or new mechanisms of action); and/or (ii) have significant differentiated clinical utility (e.g., differentiated innovation that provides clinical value versus standard of care to prescribers and patients, such as safety/tolerability, oral formulation, different spectrum of activity); and (iii) reduce patient mortality. It is also expected that such agents would have the potential to strongly address the likely requirements for delinked Pull incentives such as the UK (NHS England) subscription pilot and the PASTEUR Act in the US. Submit queries to contact@amractionfund.com.
  • [updated] INCATE (Incubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe) is an early-stage funding vehicle supporting innovation vs. drug-resistant bacterial infections. The fund provides advice, community, and non-dilutive funding (€10k in Stage I and up to €250k in Stage II) to support early-stage ventures in creating the evidence and building the team needed to get next-level funding. Details and contacts on their website (https://www.incate.net/).
  • New funding rounds from CARB-X are expected soon now that funding for the next 10 years has been announced! For the most current update, watch this 30-minute video from the June 2022 kick-off webinar.
  • It’s not a funder, but AiCuris’ AiCubator offers incubator support to very early stage projects. Read more about it here.
  • The Global AMR R&D Hub’s dynamic dashboard (link) summarizes the global clinical development pipeline, incentives for AMR R&D, and investors/investments in AMR R&D.
  • In addition to the lists provided by the Global AMR R&D Hub, you might also be interested in my most current lists of R&D incentives (link) and priority pathogens (link).


Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community (most current list is here):

  • 12-13 Sep 2022 (virtual, 9a-5p ET): This meeting of PACCARB is going to “identify key issues and critical policy gaps through a series of facilitated discussions examining a hypothetical large-scale disease outbreak scenario based on historic examples and estimates of future AMR outbreaks.” Sounds like pandemic wargaming (Center for Health Security; pre-COVID 19 May 2020 NPR article) to me! Go here for details.
  • 15 Sep 2022 (virtual, 2-4p ET): Duke-Margolis webinar entitled “Advancing Bacterial Diagnostic Development.” The Duke-Margolis webinars are always informative … this one will focus on strategies for regulatory clearance of new diagnostics. Go here for more details and to register.
  • 20-24 Sep 2022 (New Delhi): 21st Congress of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM). Go here for details.
  • [FDA AdComm … don’t miss it!] 22 Sep 2022 (virtual, 8.30-5.00p ET): FDA Advisory Committee discussing an application for approval of Rebyota (Fecal Microbiota, Live) with a requested indication to “reduce the recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in adults following antibiotic treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection.” The P3 data on this product showed superiority over placebo … and the AdComm will be an important master class for everyone interested in microbiome-based therapies. Go here for details.
  • 4-7 Oct 2022 (Dublin, Ireland): The 2022 ASM/ESCMID Joint Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance. This is an excellent meeting, especially for developers … and if you’ve missed it, the recordings from the 2021 meeting are online. Go here for details on the 2022 meeting.
  • [NEW] 13-14 Oct 2022 (virtual, 8.30a-5p ET). Workshop entitled “Accelerating the Development & Uptake of Rapid Diagnostics to Address Antibiotic Resistance.” Convened by the National Academies’ Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and TranslationForum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies, and Forum on Microbial Threats (wow, say that 3 times fast!), this workshop has a broad-ranging agenda focused practical approaches to developing rapid, point-of-care diagnostics. Go here for details and to register.
  • 19-23 Oct 2022 (Washington, DC): IDWeek 2022, the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP). Go here for details.
  • 15-23 Oct 2022 (in person, residential, Les Pensières, Veyrier-du-Lac, France): The 6th edition of Patrice Courvalin’s fabulous ICARe residential training course covering all things AMR is on for 2022! This is a soup-to-nuts training in AMR: it is very intense, very detailed, and always gets rave reviews from attendees. Registration is open 21 Mar 2022 to 21 June 2022 and is limited, so book your slot as soon as you can. Go here for details.
  • 19-23 Oct 2022 (Washington, DC): IDWeek 2022, the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP). Go here for details.
  • 23 Oct 2022 (Cape Town, South Africa): Symposium entitled “Tackling AMR: How implementation research is vital in a One Health approach” sponsored by the AMR knowledge hub of TGHN (The Global Health Network). Go here for details.
  • 25-28 Oct 2022 (Stellenbosch, South Africa): The University of Cape Town’s H3D Research Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a symposium covering the Centre’s research on Malaria, TB, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and AMR. Go here to register.
  • 17-20 Nov 2022 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia): The International Congress on Infectious Diseases will take place for the first time as a hybrid event. Go here for details. 
  • 27-30 Nov 2022 (Perth, Australia): 32nd International Congress of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is the biennial congress of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC). Go here for details.
  • 3-7 Dec 2022 (Banff, Canada): Novel Approaches Against Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance by Keystone Symposia. Go here for details. 
  • 8-12 May 2023 (Lisbon, Portugal): 41st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Go here for details.

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