News & Events

News & Events

Effective action on antimicrobial resistance in Australia

The problem of antibiotic resistance is one of the foremost issues that will affect health care worldwide, including Australia, in the coming decades. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified antimicrobial resistance as one of three greatest threats to human health, jeopardising patient safety and public health. A high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance was held on 21 September 2016 at the United Nations General Assembly to accelerate global commitments and enhance national multi-sectoral efforts to combat this threat. The Executive Councils of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) and the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (ASA) strongly believe that there is a requirement for a debate within Australia on what actions need to be taken to address the issue in the coming years, and have organised a ‘Summit on Antimicrobial Resistance’ to be held in Melbourne on 29 June 2017.

The Summit will run directly after the Communicable Diseases Control Conference 26-28 June, Melbourne.

Antimicrobial Resistance Summit
29th June 2017 

More Information & Registration

European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 
 22-25th April 2017, Vienna, Austria 

The BMJ International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare 
 26-28th April 2017, London, UK 

NCAS Fellows and Guidance Staff presentations

Clockwise: Courtney Ierano's poster presentation at the BMJ Forum - 'Evaluating the implementability of antibiotic surgical prophylaxis guidelines - a work in progress'; Courtney Ierano, Ngan-Ha Truong and Karen Urbancic at ECCMID; Dr. Noleen Bennett's poster presentation at the BMJ Forum - 'The Australian Aged-Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey: an update'; Courtney Ierano's poster presentation at the BMJ Forum - 'Development of a national audit tool for surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis prescribing'; and Karen Urbancic's poster presentation at ECCMID - 'Utility of diarrhoea as a predictor of low posaconazole exposure with the oral tablet formulation'. 

Professor David Patrick
21st February 2017 

'Responding to Antimicrobial Resistance in the True North: Better Late than Never!'

Professor David Patrick is affiliated with the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, Canada, as well as the BC Centre for Disease Control. Trained in infectious diseases and epidemiology, Professor Patrick’s research interests centre on interdisciplinary approaches to managing emerging infectious diseases including: the development and evaluation of programs to control antimicrobial misuse and curb antibiotic resistance; and linking clinical, epidemiological and genomic sciences to explore aetiology of idiopathic chronic diseases. 

Note: this is a special NCAS seminar starting at 9:00 am

The Hospital National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey: 2015 Report 
17th January 2017 

The results from the 2015/2016 annual hospital National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS) were officially released on January 17th, 2017.

281 hospitals participated (213 public and 68 private) during the data collection period between September 2015 to February 2016, representing all Australian states, territories and remoteness classifications. 

Initial results demonstrated that for antimicrobial prescriptions:
  • 72.5% had an indication documented
  • 35.5% has a review or stop date documented
  • 23.3% were non-compliant with prescribing guidelines
  • 27.4% of the surgical prophylaxis prescriptions continued beyond 24 hours
The most common antimicrobials prescribed were:
  • cefazolin - 13.6%
  • ceftriaxone - 9.0%
  • metronidazole - 6.5%
  • amoxicillin–clavulanate - 6.3%
  • piperacillin–tazobactam - 6.3%
The most common indications for prescribing antimicrobials were: 
  • surgical prophylaxis - 15.5%
  • community-acquired pneumonia - 10.5%
  • medical prophylaxis - 7.6%
  • sepsis 5.7% 
  • urinary tract infection - 5.0%
Areas highlighted for quality improvement include documentation of review or stop dates and indications for antimicrobial prescriptions and the ongoing high proportion of prolonged and non-compliant surgical prophylaxis prescriptions.

Ongoing medication shortages
 13th December 2016 

There is currently an Australia-wide shortage of various antimicrobials, including intravenous acyclovir, vancomycin and metronidazole. Meropenem has also been flagged a medication that is in low supply and should be used sparingly. There is no indication as to when these medications will again become readily available. This was recently highlighted in the Australian media. 

The use of these vital medications should be reserved for those situations where there is a clear need for the antimicrobial over other available therapies. Prescriptions should be discontinued as soon as possible based on clinical indication and status of the patient, with daily monitoring of the need for ongoing therapy.

Fact Sheets regarding these medication shortages, outlining patient management and the possible use of alternative antimicrobials, are available from the link below.
Fact Sheets

NCAS Annual Forum
9th November 2016 

The NCAS Annual Forum 2016 was held at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, 792 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

The aim of the day was to bring AMS stakeholders together to network, discuss and hear about the latest developments in human and animal AMS, both locally and internationally.

The day commenced with presentations by the Director of NCAS, Professor Karin Thursky, the Deputy Director of NCAS, A/Professor Kirsty Buising, and many of the NCAS Chief Investigators. 

The afternoon session highlighted the original research being undertaken by NCAS PhD students. The program and webinar recordings of both the morning and afternoon sessions are available to view below. 

View Webinar Recordings

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