University of Guelph One Health Institute Hosts Successful AMR Symposium

Fri, 13, October, 2023 by Food from Thought

The University of Guelph’s One Health Institute, the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety, and the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, in collaboration with the Quadram Institute, were pleased to host a two-day antimicrobial resistance (AMR) symposium on October 2-3, 2023, at the OAC Arboretum Centre, University of Guelph. The invitation-only event brought together esteemed researchers from academic and government institutions, both nationally and internationally, to delve into the critical subject of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making these infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. A 2021 fact sheet issued by the World Health Organization lists AMR as among the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistance pathogens.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Rene Van Acker, Vice President of Research at the University of Guelph, setting the tone for an enlightening symposium. Dr. Lawrence Goodridge, director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety, a professor in the Ontario Agricultural College’s Department of Food Science, and a Food from Thought-funded researcher, outlined the symposium’s objectives, emphasizing the importance of bridging the gap between academic and government research efforts in tackling AMR.

Distinguished speakers, including Jeff Lejeune from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Edward Topp from the French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment, Alison Mather from the Quadram Institute, and Scott Weese from the University of Guelph, provided insights into the threats that AMR poses to human health globally.

Dominic Poulin-Laprade from Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Janelle Sauvageau from the National Research Council of Canada, Derek Smith from Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Sandeep Tamber from Health Canada shared their perspectives on using a One Health approach to tackle AMR.

Experts including Catherine Carrillo from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Michael Fruci from Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Andrew McArthur from McMaster University, Erin Gill from Simon Fraser University provided insights into genomic approaches to AMR.

Rebecca Shapiro from the University of Guelph, Herman Barkema from the University of Calgary, Peter Stogios, and Fahad Razak from the University of Toronto delivered presentations on “Academic Perspectives on AMR.”

The symposium helped to establish nascent and cement ongoing collaborations between scientists from different institutional backgrounds. It will provide a springboard for future collaborative activities and grant applications.

Food from Thought was a proud sponsor of the AMR symposium.