Biofilm of antibiotic resistant bacteria, close up view. Rod-shaped and spherical bacteria. Shutterstock image
Researchers at the University of Plymouth have planned a week of events that are designed to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the challenges it poses and the work taking place to address it. 
The week of activities kicks off on Monday 21 November with an informative talk on AMR in the Roland Levinsky Building lecture theatre.
This will include a chance to quiz a panel of experts including Professor of Medical Microbiology Mathew Upton, Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology Tina Joshi, science illustrator Dr Lizah van der Aart, Dr Neil Powell, a Consultant Antimicrobial Pharmacist from the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Vanessa Carter, an AMR survivor. The event will also be available to view on Zoom.
The week will continue with a pub quiz at Bread and Roses and a students versus lecturers dodgeball match.
There will also be a pop-up stall on the University campus where people can learn more about the bacteria responsible for causing infections, and even see the bacteria residing on their own mobile phone, purse, or keys.
Researchers Jazz Conway and Braith Grey are organising the week’s activities.
Jazz is a PhD candidate working on the potential for deep sea sponges as a novel source of biologics.
She said:
“Antibiotics is a term everyone is familiar with and most people have had a course of antibiotics within their lifetime. This week is aimed to educate the importance of preserving these precious treatments and teaching people in the most fun, interactive and memorable way possible through many events throughout the week – just come down and take a look!”
Braith is also a PhD candidate and is developing a biosensor to detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria in urinary tracts.    
She said: 
“Antimicrobial resistance is a multifaceted issue that is impacted by a broad range of factors, from those you may be familiar with, such as finishing the full course of antibiotics, to those lesser known, such as climate change. We’ve designed this week to provide a comprehensive view of AMR, so no matter your level of knowledge, there will be something to learn for everyone.”
AMR occurs when bacteria, parasites and viruses change over time and become resistant to antimicrobial treatments.
This could cause medicines, such as antibiotics, to lose their effectiveness while infections and viruses become more difficult to treat and, as a result, disease could spread more easily.
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is run every year to raise awareness and understanding of the effects of AMR among the general public, health professionals and policy makers. It is hoped that by doing so, further emergence and the spread of AMR will be reduced.
The University is engaged in cross-disciplinary research into antimicrobial resistance from examining deep-sea sponges in the search for new antibiotics, to inventing new technologies to detect antibiotic resistance in urine samples for more effective prescribing of antibiotics.
Dr Tina Joshi added:
“Antibiotics underpin the whole of modern medicine. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) threatens to upheave the medical marvels, such as surgery and cancer treatment, that we seem to take for granted as a society. By highlighting these issues during WAAW we hope to aid public understanding so they can become empowered with knowledge and share AMR Awareness in a similar way to Climate Change. This empowerment can bring about changes to protect our antibiotics for future generations.”
More information about the events, which will raise funds for Antibiotic Research UK, can be found on our World Antimicrobial Awareness Week page.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

18–24 November 2022
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
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