Vive La Resistance: Mapping Antimicrobial Resistance in Children

Research Opportunity
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
AProf Penelope Bryant Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Nigel Curtis Personal web page
Dr Amanda Gwee

Summary How antibiotic use and other factors relate to antimicrobial resistance is unknown in children. This project aims to map the prevalence of resistant bacteria in Victorian children and target interventions to preserve antibiotics into the future.

Project Details

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat because antibiotics underpin modern healthcare. Half of all Australian children receive at least one prescription by their first birthday, one of the highest rates in the world. How antibiotic use relates to AMR is unknown in children, but it is widely accepted that if we continue to use antibiotics at this rate, resistance will inexorably increase. We have been unable to solve this in children because we do not know

  1. the prevalence or location of AMR,
  2. how antibiotic use (type, duration) relates to AMR and
  3. how other factors impact on AMR.

The aim of this project is to address these gaps by mapping the prevalence of AMR bacteria and risk factors in children in Victoria. Initially, this project will focus on mapping AMR in RCH patient populations from across greater Melbourne, comparing and validating AMR screening methodologies and exploring the links with other risk factors (e.g. socio-economic status, hospitalisation). Ultimately, the aim is to scale-up this project across Victoria and Australia. The results of this project will provide critical information on who, what and where AMR is, the associated risk factors and allow the design of targeted interventions to reduce AMR. There has never been a study of AMR prevalence in children in all-comers to any hospital worldwide, so this is the first of its kind. Understanding community AMR prevalence is usually considered in the ‘too hard basket’. However, until we know the size of the problem, we cannot adequately address it. Once we do, we can target interventions to preserve antibiotics into the future.  The successful candidate will be based in the Infection & Immunity theme at MCRI and will be supported by a multidisciplinary team of researchers on the Melbourne Children’s Campus. There is some flexibility regarding the direction the project takes, and the successful candidate will have some room to design their own aspects of the project. A PhD scholarship is available for the successful candidate to pursue this project. Candidates will be expected to apply for other competitive external scholarships. All applicants will be considered, however this project is best suited to a clinician.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.



Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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