World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24th November)

November 16, 2021

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated from 18-24 November every year, and championed by the World Health Organisation.

The 2021 theme, Spread Awareness, Stop Resistancecalls on One Health stakeholders, policymakers, health care providers, and the general public to be Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness champions.

Water Research Australia supports the “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance” theme, with ongoing research and advocacy in the field of antimicrobial resistance such as:

- Kicking off World Antimicrobial Awareness Week in the Antimicrobial Resistance Summit 

Hosted by CSIRO, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the Department of Industry Science, Energy and Resources, this prestigious two day-event will showcase over 40 presenters, and ensure that Australia benefits from the development and delivery of innovative products, policies, and processes that are essential to tackle antimicrobial resistance. It will investigate where and how, science and engineering solutions can contribute to the successful implementation of the Australian AMR strategy.

WaterRA CEO Karen Rouse, will present on “Prioritising actions in a One Health approach” outlining innovations in water management and its essential role in supporting human and animal health, before a Q&A Panel with:

  • Dr Jo Coombe, Secretariat and Chair of the Animal Industries’ Antimicrobial Stewardship 
  • Prof David Paterson, Director at University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research
  • Ass/Prof. Branwen Morgan, Lead, Antimicrobial Resistance Mission at CSIRO

- Supporting industry-led CRC bid CRC SAAFE 

CRC SAAFE (Cooperative Research Centre for Solving Antimicrobial Resistance in Agribusiness, Food and Environments) will coordinate a multi-sector ‘One Health’ response to AMR, identifying and addressing key challenges and innovation opportunities. The aims of the CRC are strongly aligned with Australia’s industry, education, and research priorities, including the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, the Animal Sector National Antimicrobial Resistance Plan, the Food and Agribusiness Sector Competitiveness Plan, and the Commonwealth Biosecurity 2030 roadmap. WaterRA is proud to be a supporter of this bid in coordinating a Water Industry Consortium. 

- WaterRA Research Project #3040 “Significance of the environment as a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance” 

Project 3040 is a pioneering research venture and cross-sectoral collaboration of water, environment, health and agriculture. The study collected data and baseline information about the microbial communities and types and amounts of AMR genes present in manure, as well as water and sediment from several rivers and waterbodies. To provide globally comparative data sets and to link this study directly to local epidemiological data, high-specificity real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays were used.

This study provides further indication that the environment, humans and animals are intrinsically linked and underpins the importance of the need for multi-sector AMR stewardship and surveillance, and highlights that actions in one sector/area can potentially have impacts on the others.