Professor Andrew Bonney

UOW researchers aim to reduce antimicrobial resistance in general practice

UOW researchers aim to reduce antimicrobial resistance in general practice

Study will target inappropriate antibiotic prescribing

Professor Andrew Bonney will lead a team of researchers from University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Graduate School of Medicine to explore ways to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Combating antimicrobial resistance - when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve resistance to the drugs used to treat them - is a global health priority. Reducing the inappropriate use of antibiotics will reduce levels of antimicrobial resistance.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) has funded the study with $2.7 million over five years.

Most antibiotic prescriptions given to patients in Australia are sourced from primary care physicians or GPs for acute respiratory infections. Many of these prescriptions may not be required under current guidelines.

“GPs are at the front line of the fight against antimicrobial resistance. There are evidence-based strategies to safely reduce antibiotic use for respiratory infections in general practice; the challenge is the practicality of getting this evidence into use in busy general practice,” Professor Bonney said.

“This study will allow us to work with GPs and patients practical tools and resources and test online GP training modules in their use - taking the best research putting it in the hands of clinicians and patients.”

The study is codesigned with consumers and doctors to safely reduce antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory tract infections.

The trial will provide an evidence-based tool kit including resources for clinician-patient shared decision-making and delayed prescribing of antibiotics.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Sustainable Futures) Professor David Currow said the work being undertaken by Professor Bonney has far reaching implications.

“Cultivating innovation in antimicrobial research and supporting the adoption of research to practice isn't just an investment in healthcare; it's an investment in our shared future, where antibiotics remain effective and infectious diseases can continue to be managed."