The AMR Centre is pleased to announce a joint initiative, along with The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and the University of Liverpool, to determine the potency of hybrid antibiotics against Escherichia coli. This follows the award of an MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) grant, a scheme managed by the Tropical Infectious Disease Consortium (LSTM; the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; The Jenner Institute at Oxford University and Public Health England Microbiology Research Services in Porton Down).

The project looks to determine the potency of hybrid antibiotics, informed by collateral sensitivity networks, against a panel of susceptible and resistant clinical E. coli isolates. It addresses the urgent need to develop novel antimicrobials, with AMR now a serious global issue.

Recently demonstrated was the reproducible collateral-sensitivity (CS) networks in E. coli. CS occurs when sensitivity to one drug increases upon the development of resistance to another drug. Hybridisation of two antibiotics can lead to increased therapeutic efficacy; however the choice of antibiotics has never been informed by CS. This project aims to investigate novel hybrid (fluoroquinolone and aminoglycoside) antibiotics against E. coli, and determine if CS between these two classes of antibiotics will lead to a reduction in resistance development and persistence through a hybridisation strategy.

Commenting, Dr. Pete Jackson, AMRC Executive Director, said, “It is great to again be working closely with our partners at The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool. Together, Liverpool and Alderley Park have the expertise to develop effective solutions to the global problem of AMR.

“The North already has the right infrastructure and capability to advance AMR research, as 60% of AMR research in the UK is already done here. We can and must leverage our assets, across Liverpool, Manchester and Alderley Park, to build a ‘Northern Powerhouse of AMR’ that will tackle one of the world’s greatest challenges.”