6th December 2022

The University of Aberdeen Epidemiology Group is collaborating with the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) to develop the first UK Antimicrobial Registry (UKAR), with the aim of tackling Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Effective antimicrobial agents are a crucial component of modern medicine allowing the prevention and treatment of infections as well as supporting safe surgical procedures and cancer chemotherapy. However, their effectiveness is threatened by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which according to the World Health Organisation, is increasing worldwide. Effective antimicrobial stewardship is vital in the fight against AMR, and a key element of this is the surveillance of the real-world use of new agents. Randomised trials to support the licencing of new medicines are commonly conducted in highly select patient populations, often in specialist centres, limiting the generalisability of trial findings. Clinical trial populations fail to capture variability within the general population, which may compromise the estimates of effectiveness and cost‐effectiveness that arise from these trials.

The UKAR study aims to provide prescribers, policymakers and pharmaceutical manufacturers with data on the routine clinical use of recently licensed antimicrobial agents. The primary objective of the study is to determine which patients are receiving these novel therapies, for which infections, and in whom they are most effective, without any adverse events.

UKAR Project Leader, Jacqui Sneddon, explains: “UKAR could be a game changer for tackling AMR, providing prescribers with real-world usage data for recently licensed antimicrobial agents, and helping provide safer, more effective treatment for patients.”

The study is led by Professors Gary Macfarlane and Gareth Jones at the University of Aberdeen and, when launched, will enable analysis of patient-level data for 11 antibiotics, covering a range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative agents. Following necessary Ethics and Research approvals, data collection will commence across four pilot sites in England and Scotland before broader recruitment of sites across the UK.

Prof Gareth Jones, UKAR Study Chief Investigator, discussing the development of the study: “Building on our experience running similar studies, we are delighted to be leading the UKAR and to be at the forefront of tackling AMR.  The study will allow us to answer a number of important research questions about the use of these drugs, outside the clinical trial environment.”

Professor Gary MacFarlane, Chair in Epidemiology at the University added: “This UK wide study will provide important information on the safety and effectiveness of new antimicrobial agents. It will provide detailed information on who is receiving these new drugs, for what infections and the outcomes achieved.

“This is an exciting opportunity for teams in hospitals using these antibiotics to contribute to this novel study and importantly support their stewardship to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance.”

Are you a clinician who is passionate about tackling antimicrobial resistance? Do you want to be involved in UK-wide research into the effective use of new-to-market antibiotics? Find out more and express your interest here.

GP? Pharmacist? Researcher? Social Scientist? Whatever field you work in, if you’re committed to fighting infection then we want you to join us as a BSAC Member.
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