Emerging infections

Emerging infections and antimicrobial resistance

Theme lead: Peter Horby

Our vision

To utilise the unique assets and global reach of the Oxford Infectious Disease Programme to develop surveillance capabilities for the major infectious disease threats.

Our mission

To build on the Oxford Infectious Disease Programme, incorporating global surveillance and mapping as well as molecular tool development for tackling infections. We want to develop methods that can be applied in any setting (hospital, community, globally) and to integrate their output with clinical research that provides a better description of clinical syndromes associated with new emerging infections. These developments will be linked to our genomics expertise as well, to characterise more precisely the pathogens responsible for outbreaks of disease.  The programme will include:

  • Identifying and characterising new infectious threats at source, building capacity, infrastructure and systems for an urgent clinical research response to emerging infection diseases (EIDs); identifying EID outcomes and  factors that determine host and pathogen virulence.
  • Creating evidence-based maps for 174 global pathogens targeted for vaccine development, calibrating population risk and global burden of disease, and improving patient diagnostic and treatment algorithms.
  • Genomic transformation of clinical microbiology to promote unambiguous species identification, its antimicrobial resistance profile, it phylogeny and phenotype.
  • Understanding and controlling animal reservoirs, through a collaboration between the Pirbright Institute and the Oxford Jenner Institute.
  • Furthering the Oxford Vaccine Programme, which covers a wide range of activities bridging basic immunology and vaccine early development. Vaccine candidates in development include vaccines for malaria, TB, Dengue fever, influenza and HIV.
  • Treating antimicrobial resistant pathogens by working to develop a public-private partnership which brings together the expertise of academic and clinical microbiologists with the drug discovery capabilities in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the Structural Genomics Consortium.
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