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University of Edinburgh, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi Team Up on Antimicrobial Resistance

NEW YORK (360Dx) — The University of Edinburgh announced this week that it has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT) to lead a program investigating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India and developing new diagnostic technologies to support antibiotic stewardship.

Called Diagnostics for One Health and User Driven Solutions for AMR (DOSA), the three-year program is being funded with £3 million ($3.9 million) from UK Research and Innovation, UK-based Newton Fund, and Government of India's Department of Biotechnology.

According to UK Research and Innovation, the current lack of effective and affordable diagnostic technologies in India has resulted in trial-and-error prescribing of broad spectrum antibiotics by doctors and the overuse of antibiotics on farms and fisheries.

To address this issue, DOSA will be tasked with studying the current practices, user behaviors, and social and economic drivers of antibiotic consumption in India. Findings from this research will be used to develop and validate rapid assays for three applications: diagnosing urinary tract infections in humans, diagnosing cow mastitis in the dairy industry, and the detection of antibiotic residue in water from aquaculture.

The assays are expected to help reduce the unnecessary consumption, blind prescription, and environmental release of antibiotics, UK Research and Innovation said.

"DOSA gives us the exceptional possibility to create a deep understanding between user needs and diagnostics innovation," Till Bachmann, University of Edinburgh researcher and DOSA principal investigator, said in a statement. "The project will focus on community settings in India. It is here where the big drivers of AMR are located, where AMR is a huge burden, and where it is exceptionally difficult to implement rapid diagnostics."

In addition to IIT, DOSA member organizations in India include the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms; the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology; the National Dairy Research Institute; Silchar Medical College; and Assam University.

UK institutes joining the University in Edinburgh include the University of Bradford, the University of Southampton, and the University of the Arts London.

DOSA members will hold their first meeting later this month at IIT.