antimicrobial-resistance-amr

Antimicrobial resistance

Bacteria have found various ways to develop resistance (AMR), of which resistance to antibiotics is a problem reaching across many different domains.

AMR is an urgent global health threat.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) develops when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to treatment. Globalisation, migration and (medical) tourism will inevitably lead to the worldwide spread of new (multi-)resistant mutant pathogens.

Resistance to antibiotics is a problem across many different domains. The ecological, sanitary and socioeconomic conditions that promote the propagation of antibiotics have never disappeared. Due to urbanisation, population growth and migration, the situation has even deteriorated in many areas.

antibiotics resistance

Monitoring appropriate use of antibiotics

It is of great urgency to change how patients are diagnosed and how antibiotics are prescribed, distributed and used. In addition, the role of animal health care and infection prevention and control in health care facilities cannot be ignored. Adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities are scarce. To make matters worse, antibiotics of uncontrolled, often inadequate quality are widely available to uninformed populations and unlicensed or unskilled health providers. Untreatable infections become alarmingly frequent, while the research and development pipeline in the pharmacological industry is extremely thin.

amr-lab-aim-course

What we do

ITM is coordinating research projects to combat antibiotic resistance. An interdisciplinary approach is required to counter this persistent threat. Scientists of the institute collaborate on novel diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for infection prevention and control, promote responsible antibiotic use, and investigate human, social and cultural factors.

Research themes

  • tsetse-fly
    Tireless effort is crucial to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, in the world. For more than a century, ITM has been playing its part.
  • mosquito-on-human-skin-arboviruses
    Arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika are urgent public health threats in tropical and subtropical areas.
  • malaria-mosquito-net
    By combining efforts on biological, human and societal aspects of the disease, ITM hopes to control and ultimately eliminate malaria in the long term.
  • paulin-madingi-analyses-sample-of-sleeping-sickness-ntd-itm
    Neglected (tropical) diseases are high on the agenda. For many years, ITM has been actively involved in research on NTDs, in particular on leishmaniasis, leprosy and sleeping sickness.
  • vaccination-ctc
    Before vaccines or drugs can be used in the general population, their safety and effectiveness are thoroughly investigated in clinical trials.
  • hiv-test-positive-itm-clinics
    The research of ITM on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS is of inestimable value.
  • larval-sampling-MEMO
    For more than 10 years, ITM has been actively monitoring exotic mosquitoes in Belgium.
  • microscope-monkeypox
    ITM is closely monitoring the development of the mpox disease, both in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • women-participating-in-pregact-trial-nazoanga-burkina-faso-sexual-and-reproductive-health-itm
    We help improve sexual and reproductive health in the world by combining scientific research, advanced education, policy support and capacity-strengthening initiatives.
  • tuberculosis-lab-itm-1
    ITM’s research on tuberculosis (TB) is world-renowned. Its shorter combination treatment for resistant tuberculosis was a worldwide breakthrough. Our researchers study new diagnostics and case detection techniques, with the largest public collection of TB strains in the world at their disposal.
  • plant-in-soil-ecohealth
    EcoHealth is an interdepartmental group that unites researchers from different backgrounds and disciplines. We all recognise the need for comprehensive, systemic approaches to address current health challenges that emerge at the interface between humans, animals and their broader natural, social and political environments.
  • blood-sample-sti-hiv-tests-policlinic-itm
    Since the beginning, ITM has been providing medical services to people returning ill from overseas. As such, ITM accumulated profound knowledge of tropical diseases, as well as STIs and HIV.
  • nazoanga-marche-antibiotics-study
    The right to health implies that everybody, everywhere should have access to the needed essential health products, included but not limited to diagnostics, vaccines and medicines.
  • sampling-research-ethics-itm
    Clinical, epidemiological and diagnostics studies, secondary analyses of health data and BioSamples, behavioural studies or any other studies that involve the participation of human individuals, should yield social value and be scientifically justified and ethically sound.
  • outbreak-guinea-ebola
    In a highly interconnected world, ITM continues to innovate and develop its outbreak research capacity.
  • covid-19-itm-envelope-1
    ITM has decades of experience fighting infectious diseases and curbing epidemics. We are fully committed to helping stop the COVID-19 pandemic that is threatening the world. To this end, we work together with partners at home and abroad.
  • said-centre-de-traitement-ebola
    Ebola is a deadly disease that was co-discovered in 1976 by researchers of the institute. ITM has been closely monitoring subsequent outbreaks on the African continent, as well as contributing to new developments in diagnostics and treatment.