Students reveal superbug fighting microbes at AMR Awareness Day

The results of an initiative aimed at finding microbes capable of fighting superbugs have been revealed as part of an antimicrobial resistance awareness event at the University of Nottingham.

The project, led by third-year student Alice Huxley in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, asked visitors to the school’s open days, community engagement events and school visits over the past year to do some hands-on microbiology by collecting and plating swabs from the environment around them. With her tutors, Dr Adam Blanchard and Dr Sabine Tötemeyer, Ms Huxley later cultured the swabs in the lab and tested the microbes for their bug-busting abilities.

Since September, a total of 266 returned swabs uncovered 11 microbes which inhibited the growth of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and seven which tackled multi-drug resistant E.coli from samples collected from places as diverse as car wheel hubs, wheelie bins, shoes and the keys of a piano.

The event at the University’s Sutton Bonington Campus aimed to encourage people to think about the issues around responsible antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance and was organised jointly by the Vet School, School of Biosciences and student societies including the Postgraduate Society (PGSoc), the One Health Society, Microbiology Society and NextGenScientists.

Professor Gary England, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, said: “I am delighted that our veterinary school has many initiatives to highlight the importance and impact of antibiotic resistance to human and animal health.”

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