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BactiVac team Antibiotic Guardian Awards onstage with logo
The BactiVac Network team, winners of the Research category, onstage with Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope

The University of Birmingham-hosted BactiVac Network recently attended the Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2019, held as part of the ongoing Antibiotic Guardian campaign led by Public Health England (PHE), and received an award under the research category.

Infections cause approximately 20% of all deaths worldwide, disproportionally affecting those in low-middle income countries. Bacterial infections still kill ~5 million people annually, with the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis likely to increase this number further.

PHE’s Antibiotic Guardian campaign aims to increase commitment and raise awareness among the public and healthcare professionals about how we can slow the development of resistant bacteria and cut unnecessary use of antibiotics.

BactiVac is a global network established to help deliver new or better vaccines against bacterial infections in animals and humans, particularly low and middle-income country-relevant diseases.

Professor Adam Cunningham, Co-Director of the BactiVac Network, who collected the award on behalf of the Network, said: “The BactiVac Network is honoured and delighted to receive this award.

“BactiVac’s winning entry under the Research category recognises the Network’s efforts to address the global AMR challenge by developing vaccines to prevent disease and therefore reducing the need to use antimicrobials.

“Through working with other stakeholders, such as local communities and Parliament, the Network promotes the use and value of vaccines as solutions to the problems of infectious diseases and AMR.”

Professor Cal MacLennan, Director of the BactiVac Network, added: “The power of our Network lies within our global membership. We will continue to work with our members based across the academic, industry and policy sectors to grow bacterial vaccinology to save lives and counter AMR.

“Advocating vaccines as a way of addressing the global AMR challenge is key and we will continue to support research projects in this important area so that we can continue to accelerate the development of new or improved bacterial vaccines."

The Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2019

The awards ceremony, held 27 June, recognised members of the public and a host of health professionals from the fields of human health, animal health, and the food supply chain, highlighting the collaboration and engagement from various sectors.

The evening was attended by healthcare organisations across England, Scotland, Wales, Europe and Asia, who had all submitted entries and then shortlisted for their achievements in work to help combat antibiotic resistance and protect antibiotic usage. Award categories included research, animal health, community engagement, and diagnostics, innovation and prescribing.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the UK and honorary guest for the evening, Christine Middlemiss, was on hand to present the awards alongside Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope (Lead for the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and Lead Pharmacist for the AMR Programme at PHE).

Dr Ashiru-Oredope said: “The Antibiotic Guardian awards are an excellent opportunity for us to champion organisations and individuals who have demonstrated achievement in their work to tackle antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest global public health threats we face.

“These awards have highlighted the wealth of fantastic work taking place across the country. I’d like to personally congratulate all the nominees and winners for their contributions. At Public Health England we will continue to support and work with partners across the health system to tackle antimicrobial resistance.”