The CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), applies a One Health approach to support the efforts of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in controlling agriculture-associated AMR risks, through promoting and facilitating transdisciplinary partnerships.
The recently adopted CGIAR AMR strategy recognises the need for evidence on links between agriculture (crops, livestock and aquaculture) and public health outcomes. Based on evidence generated, the hub develops solutions that are locally relevant and applicable, while being adaptable to other contexts. Research on how to best implement and scale workable solutions is embedded in capacity development activities and supported through advocacy for enabling policies. These ambitions need effective partnerships across disciplines, which are at the heart of the AMR hub.
Antimicrobial Resistance is a global concern that has motivated the international mobilisation of scientists, international agencies, governmental institutions, and relevant stakeholders all around the world with the aim of reducing antimicrobial use and minimising the selective pressure for resistant-microorganisms as a consequence of indiscriminate use of antimicrobials. It is a complex issue that requires the understanding of social, economic and political factors as much as biological ones. The World Bank (2017) has estimated a reduction of 3.8% of GDP by 2050 as a result of AMR, especially affecting LMICs.
The key function of the CGIAR AMR hub is to convene different stakeholders with interest in AMR research to influence the development agenda. This is achieved by providing an environment that enables collaboration, facilitates the establishment of new research partnerships, and streamlines communications around agricultural associated AMR to support evidence-based discussions.
The hub underpins the implementation of the CGIAR AMR strategy, which is aligned with efforts of the Tripartite of WHO, FAO, OIE and UNEP. The strategy comprises research and development activities in five critical areas to ensure the impact in reducing AMR, which are:
- Understand the knowledge, attitude, and practices for antimicrobial use or reduction in use and role of formal and informal markets;
- Research AMR transmission dynamics at the human-animal-environmental interface in different livestock and aquaculture systems;
- Design and evaluate interventions and incentives to reduce or more effectively use antimicrobials;
- Support evidence-based policy dialogue for antimicrobial surveillance and AMR strategies; and
- Capacity development and guidance of scaling of solutions.
CGIAR is ideally positioned to tackle agriculture-related AMR risks and their implications for human health in LMIC’s. Through their CGIAR research programmes on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health(A4NH), led by the International Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Livestock (CRP Livestock), led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Fish (CRP Fish), led by WorldFish, researchers at CGIAR develop activities to understand, improve, and design innovative strategies to tackle AMR in LMIC’s. Further, the involvement of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) allows us to address environmental and water system challenges around AMR more holistically.
Through the CRP on Agriculture for Health and Nutrition (A4NH), we have a research partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) which ensures that public health perspectives are included in all research stages, enabling a One Health framework, as endorsed by United Nations and the World Health Organization in 20161. Through the CRP on Livestock, we work with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) to develop interventions to reduce antimicrobial use at the farm level. Further, exciting opportunities have arisen through collaboration with new partners.
The CGIAR AMR hub contributes to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) adopted by United Nations, supporting global efforts to attain the 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12 and 17 SDGs.
The main purposes of the AMR hub are:
- Convene stakeholders on AMR to discuss solutions and manage partnerships.
- Provide evidence and support for AMR advocacy and policymaking to national partners.
- To build a meaningful and impactful CGIAR AMR research portfolio that sustainably mitigates AMR risks in agri- and aquaculture and agri-food systems at large.
- Provide a state-of-the-art technical platform for microbiological analysis, including AMR tests and residue testing.
- Assess policies, incentives, regulations, and practices that effectively reduce excessive use of antimicrobials.
- Provide a cross-CGIAR institutional set-up for coordinated AMR research and development activities, for example, serve countries in facilitating new partnerships and provide space to host visiting scientists).
- Host and maintain an online agri-food system AMR information platform.
- Host a long-term biobank.
- Run a data storage platform for AMR related CGIAR projects.
- Organise regular training on different aspects of AMR for CGIAR and national partner institutions involved in AMR work.