The meeting report from an innovative US-UK event designed to promote collaboration between the two on hospital microbiome studies has now been published online.
The UK Science and Innovation Network UK-USA workshop ‘Beating the Superbugs: Hospital Microbiome Studies for tackling Antimicrobial Resistance’ was held at the Department of Health and attended by Dr Beryl Oppenheim, consultant microbiologist and theme lead for the NIHR SRMRC.
The workshop was held to add a new facet to our collective understanding of antimicrobial resistance. The assembled researchers debated the importance of the hospital microbial community in transmission of disease and as a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance genes, and discussed methodologies, hypotheses, and priorities.
A number of complementary approaches were explored, although the importance of the built environment microbiome in disease transmission was not universally accepted.
Current whole genome epidemiological methods are being pioneered in the UK and the benefits of moving to community analysis are not necessarily obvious to the pioneers; however, rapid progress in other areas of microbiology suggest to some researchers that hospital microbiome studies will be exceptionally fruitful even in the short term.
Collaborative studies will recombine different strengths to tackle the international problems of antimicrobial resistance and hospital and healthcare associated infections.