This page provides links to important reports, publications, conferences and funding opportunities related to antimicrobial resistance, novel antibiotics such as bacteriocins and bacteriophage therapy.

June 2016

  • The potential of pyocin SD2 as an alternative to antibiotics for treating P.aeruginosa infections is revealed in a collaboration between laboratories in Sydney, Australia and Glasgow, UK (link

May 2016

  • Interesting Programme of talks on Alternatives to antibiotics in Loughborough on June 16th that includes antimicrobial peptides, antitoxins, bacteriocins, phage, resistance breakers, and vaccines (link)
  • A phage that binds to an eflux pump responsible for resistance to some antibiotics in P.aeruginosa has been identified in a Connecticut pond. The presence of the virus reduces the level of antibiotic resistance and makes the P.aeruginosa susceptible to several antibiotics (link)
  • A Phase 2 randomised, placebo-controlled trial of oral T4 phage therapy unfortunately concluded that it was no more effective than oral rehydration therapy (link)
  • The last of the excellent series of AMR reviews led by the economist Lord O'Neill has been published (link). I would like to think that throwing billions at the problem of AMR would provide the solution but I have serious doubts unless a way to reduce the $1 billion costs of developing a single antibiotic can be found.
  • Bactofencin, a broad spectrum bacteriocin produced by gut isolates of Lactobacillus salivarius, has a subtle influence on intestinal communities with a potentially positive impact on anaerobic popuations (link)
  • The colicin E7 immunity protein (Im7) has been used to study the function of ATP-independent chaperones in E.coli. It is remarkable that Im7 folds into its native state whilst bound to the chaperone. (link)
  • The Pew Trust issues a Scientific roadmap for antibiotic discovery (link)
  • Interesting evidence that a bacteriocin produced by an epidemic Listeria monocytogenes strain alters the host intestinal microbiota to favour infection (link)

April 2016

  • I contributed to an article in New Scientist April 30 edition by Penny Sarchet entitled Antibiotics apocalypse: Tales from fighters on the front line  (link)
  • Interesting article entitled Use of bacteriophage to target bacterial surface structures required for virulence: a systematic search for antibiotic alternatives by Paul Orndorff discusses the use of phage resistant, attenuated mutants to screen for small molecules that block functional phage receptor assembly (link)
  • Review entitled Bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria and their applications in meat and meat products by Woraprayote et al. discusses the direct application of bacteriocins as a food additive and incorporation of bacteriocins in packaging (link)
  • Congratulations to Lloyd Czaplewski and co-authors for the award of the Atlas Prize for their AMR review (link)
  • Thought provoking review of engineered bacteriophage technologies by Braff, Shis and Collins entitled Synthetic biology platform technologies for antimicrobial applications (link)
  • Excellent review by Egan et al on the use of bacteriocins alone and in combination with other processing methods to control spores in food (link)
  • A framework is proposed for classifying the antibiotic response of bacterial strains in Distinguishing between resistance, toleance and persistence to antibiotic treatment (link)
  • DRAMP is database of antimicrobial peptides containing information on MIC value against target organisms and structure information on 17349 sequences, including 263 bacteriocins (link)
  • New guidelines for Antibiotic Stewardship issued by IDSA and SHEA (link)
  • New funding opportunity from the CDC and the Office of the Associate Director for Science in the area of antibiotic resistance, surveillance, epidemiology and genomics (link)
  • The origins of the increasingly used term "antibiotic apocalypse" are discussed in this article (link)
  • UK Chancellor warns that antimicrobial resistance will be a greater threat than cancer by 2050 in an article in The Guardian (link)
  • Public Health England has launched a new online data resource -AMR Local Indicators Profile that are intended to raise awareness of AMR and to facilitate the development of local action plans. Data are available in five domains (antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic prescribing, healthcare associated infections, infection prevention and control, and antibiotic stewardship). The profile comprises a set of interactive tables, charts and maps, illustrating trends and regional variations in a number of AMR-related indicators for each of the domains. Data can be viewed at several geographical levels including GP practice (link)
  • Interesting review by Lee and Behr entitled The implications of whole genome sequencing in the control of tuberculosis (link)

March 2016

  • Interesting data showing a 7.9% reduction in antibiotic prescribing between April and December 2015 by NHS England compared with the same period the year before following the introduction of incentive payments in April 2015 (link).
  • Thought-provoking paper by Rex and Outterson entitled Antibiotic reimbursement in a model delinked from sales: a benchmark-based worldwide approach (link)
  • The latest UK Review on Antimicrobial resistance report is published entitled Infection Prevention, Control and Surveillance: Limiting the Development and Spread of Drug Resistance (link)
  • Latest in series of excellent Guardian articles on AMR on the 61st anniversary of Alexander Fleming's death entitled "Antibiotic resistance is not theoretical: the threat is real and immediate" (link)
  • Excellent article by Alison Moodie in The Guardian highlighting the effects of antibiotic resistance on healthcare, food production and tourism (link)
  • The complexity of the process by which colicins are induced by DNA damage is described in The Use and Abuse of LexA by Mobile Genetic Elements by Fornelos, N. .et al Trends in Microbiology (link)
  • A disturbing picture of the scale of the problem of antibiotic resistance in India highlights the need for improved regulation of drug production and sales, better management of physician compensation, and encouraging behaviour change among doctors and patients (link)
  • Interesting summary of a paper that offers considerable hope that resistance to S-type pyocins that target siderophore receptors in P.aeruginosa may be difficult to evolve during treatment in patients (link)
  • Interesting interactive world maps of the incidence of antimicrobial resistance in a number of key bacterial pathogens produced by the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy, Washington DC (link)
  • BLIS Technologies Ltd (New Zealand) have developed probiotic products for throat health, halitosis and probiotic support for the body that are  based on bacteriocins discovered by Professor John Tagg, University of Otago, New Zealand (link)

February 2016

  • Excellent review commissioned  by the Wellcome Trust and led by Lloyd Czaplewski and Jon Rex entitled "Alternatives to antibiotics-a pipeline portfolio review" in Lancet Infectious Diseases 16:239-251 (2016)
  • The World Antimicrobial Resistance Congress US 2016 will be held on September 14-15 in Washington DC (link)
  • Interesting paper on discovery of an S-type pyocin S6 that has ribonuclease activity from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate. Pyocin S6 shares two domains with pyocin S1 and the killing domain with colicin E3, illustrating the significance of domain shuffling in bacteriocin evolution (link)
  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Vaccines and alternative approaches: reducing our dependence on antimicrobials (link) 
  • lists; (A) Sixteen trials of bacteriophage therapy to treat infections, six of which are open (link); (B) One interventional study which is not yet open for recruitment to determine if Streptococcus salivarus BLIS K-12 prevents streptococcal throat infection in children that have had an episode of rheumatic fever 

January 2016

  • A Randomized Trial of Oral Phage Therapy of Acute Bacterial Diarrhoea with Two Coliphage Preparations failed to achieve intestinal amplification and to improve diarrhoea outcome (link)
  • NIAID awards more than $5M to fund 24 research projects seeking  to develop non-traditional antibiotics. The awards included projects involving bacteriocins targeting Clostridium difficile and bacteriophage targeting a range of pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacteriaceae, Enterococci, MDR pathogens, and Klebsiella pneumoniae (link)
  • Interesting paper discussing the role of nutrient-poor natural environments in selecting for antibiotic resistance (link)
  • The UK Department for International Development published details of the £1 billion Ross Fund which aims to develop, test and deliver a range of new products (including vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to help combat the world's most serious diseases in developing countries (link to pdf). 
  • Nomad Bioscience received a formal 'no question' letter from FDA in response to their GRAS notice GRN593 describing the use of colicins for control of major foodborne pathogenic strains of E.coli on vegetable foods. This is the first regulatory approval for use of a large protein antibiotic and may be the forerunner of a number of similar applications (link to pdf)
  • The long awaited book The Bacteriocins: Current Knowledge and Future Prospects edited by Rob Dorit, Sandra Roy and Peg Riley is now being advertised for sale with a publication date of July 2016 (link).

December 2015

  • Group B colicins are released into the environment but, unlike group A colicins, lack an identified colicin-specific release protein that facilitates release of the colicin. A recent paper proposes a new mechanism for the release of Group B colicins that is mediated by temperate, lambdoid phages (link)
  • China-UK AMR Partnership Initiative launched with a deadline for applications of March 1st 2016 (link)
  • A systematic analysis examining public funding for research on antibacterial resistance in the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) countries, the European Commission, and related European agencies was published (link)
  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Antimicrobials in Agriculture and the Environment: Reducing Unnecessary Use and Waste (link)

November 2015

  • See my Commentary article on Antimicrobial resistance published in The Guardian newspaper on 21/11/15 (link).
  • Pheromonicins: an ecologically sound family of bacteriocin-based antibiotics for use in the age of the microbiome. Xiao-Qing Qiu, Sandra M Roy, and Margaret A Riley Future Microbiology 10, 1969-1979 (2015)
  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Safe, Secure and Controlled: Managing the Supply Chain of Antimicrobials (link)

October 2015

  • Addressing Antibiotic Resistance - A Report from the Joint APLU/AAVMC Task Force on Antibiotic resistance in Production Agriculture was published (link)
  • The invitation only 2015 International Workshop on The Pheromonicin Drug development Platform organized by Xiaoqing Qiu and Peg Riley was held in Beijing, China from October 19th to 21st.
  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Rapid Diagnostics: Stopping Unecessary Use of Antibiotics (link)
  • A report entitled Towards a New Global Business Model for Antibiotics: Delinking Revenues from Sales has been published by Chatham House (link

September 2015

  • Submission by Phagelux for a GRAS notfication for the bacteriophage cocktail SalmoPro containing bacteriophages BP-63 and BP-12, for bio-control of Salmonella enterica in food (link)
  • UK Spending Review and Autumn Statement announces a new £1 billion global fund to speed up the development of vaccines and drugs to eliminate the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.
  • Interesting paper by Schulz, S. et al. on the control of major foodborne pathogenic strains of E.coli by colicins (link)

August 2015

  • Nomad Bioscience GmbH, Halle, Germany filed a USA FDA GRAS notice GRN593 describing the use of colicins for control of major foodborne pathogenic strains of E.coli on vegetable foods.

July 2015

  • An interesting paper indicating that a Nisin ZP, a naturally occurring variant of the antimicrobial peptide nisin shows antitumour activity against head and neck cancer in a mouse model (link)
  • An interesting paper from Dan Walker's laboratory entitled Activity of Species-specific Antibiotics Against Crohn's disease-Associated Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (link)
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) organise a Workshop entitled Bacteriophage Therapy: An Alternative Strategy to Combat Drug Resistance (link)

May 2015

  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Securing New Drugs For Future Generations: The Pipeline of Antibiotics (link)

April 2015

  • ImmuCell announces an exclusive option agreement to license new technology concerning bacteriocins with activity against Gram negative infections for use in combatting mastitis in dairy cattle developed by Professor Margaret (Peg) Riley of the Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

March 2015

  • Interesting paper from AvidBiotics Corp on engineering of an R-type Pyocin to target Clostridium difficile (link), although the serotype specificity of R-type pyocins will be a challenge to produce an effective therapeutic agent.

February 2015

  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Tackling a Global health crisis: Initial Steps (link)

January 2015

  • President Obama's 2016 US FY 2016 Budget doubles the amount of federal Funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance to more than $1.2 billion. highlights include the development of an antibacterial resistance clinical trial network for rapid testing of new drugs to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria (link)
  • Intralytix Inc received FDA GRAS approval for ListShield, naturally ocurring lytic phages that selectively kill Listeria monocytogenes, for treating foods (link)

December 2014

  • The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Lord Jim O'Neill produced its latest review entitled Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis For the health and Wealth of Nations (link)
  • A Policy paper entitled Progress report on the UK 5 year AMR strategy: 2014 was published by the UK Department of Health (link)

September 2014

  • The US National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria was published and contained five goals, including Goal 4 To accelerate basic research and applied research and development for new antibiotics, other therapeutics and vaccines (link to pdf)

June 2014

  • The UK Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2013 - 2018: Measuring Success was published by the UK Department of Health (link)

March 2014

  • AvidBiotics granted US Patent No 8,673,291 for a type of bacteriocin that target and kill C.difficile.

February 2014

  • Interesting paper describing the engineering of lactic acid bacteria to detect Enterococcus faecalis and produce bacteriocins active against this pathogen (link)
  • A paper entitled New Business Models for Sustainable Antibiotics by Professor Kevin Outterson was published by Chatham House (link)

July 2011

  • BLIS Technologies Ltd (New Zealand) obtained US FDA GRAS status for its BLIS K12 oral probiotic (link)