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Infection: Precision Medicine in Infectious Diseases

"If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine"– David Cameron, UK Prime Minister

A growing problem of nosocomial antibiotic-resistant bacteria infections had been fuelled by the lack of new effective antibiotics now and for the next 10 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States alone. In addition, reports on antimicrobial resistance commissioned by the UK government and supported by the Welcome Trust from 2014-16 have estimated that mortality & morbidity attributable to an increase in antimicrobial resistance will rise. Ten million more people are expected to die every year than would be the case if resistance was kept to today's level as compared to 8.2 million more people dying from cancer every year in 2050. Major recommendations are: (1) optimising dose and combining existing drugs to slow development of resistance and treat resistant infections; (2) develop better diagnostics to tailor and reduce the use of antibiotics & (3) integrated global surveillance using advances in molecular testing and informatics.

In our thematic approach, we are focusing specifically on the clinical diagnostics and therapeutics in the fight against XDRO and AMR. We aspire to bring biomedical innovations in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of XDROs from bench to bedside via multi-centre clinical trials in Singapore. We aim to develop rapid interpretation of whole genome sequencing testing results to physicians similar to current pathology reports to guide antimicrobial therapy. We seek to be the premier centre in providing the test-bed facilities to assess the in vitro activity of new antimicrobial agents for use in clinical practice, support antifungal surveillance studies to optimize new and existing antifungal agents and provide susceptibility testing and molecular services to support the evaluation of novel compounds in infection control studies. We target to develop TDM assays for various antimicrobials and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of offering individualised empiric antimicrobial dosing regimens via computer decision support systems to patients.

Research Theme Lead:

Andrea Kwa.jpgTan TT.jpeg

A/Prof Andrea Kwa Lay Hoon      Dr Tan Thuan Tong