ARMADA, is the Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring, Analysis and Diagnostics Alliance. It will be a publicly supported Global Biobank that will, for the first time, combine big-data and rapid bacteria tracking approaches to create a virtual “shield” against multi-drug resistant superbugs, helping doctors to protect their patients and communities alike. More than 50 clinical and academic institutions across 20 countries have expressed an interest in joining the alliance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Disease Society of America, each year in the USA alone, at least 2 million people are infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and more than 100,000 people could be dying each year as a direct result of these infections. Babies, the elderly, diabetics, and patients with weakened immune systems are the most impacted.
Economist Jim O’Neill was commissioned by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to produce a report on antibiotic resistance in which he stated that, if no action is taken, up to 300 million people will die worldwide from antibiotic resistant infections by 2050. The report was published in the summer of 2016.
Before prescription of antibiotics, the current clinical methods are inadequate to identify antibiotic resistant bacteria. To address this inadequacy, ARMADA proposes to work with hospitals, doctors, and scientists around the world to collect an unprecedented number of bacterial isolates and their trajectory across patients, healthy carriers, animals, or the environment, generating a biobank that can be used to map the entire spectrum of superbug strains.
At the same time, these bacteria will be genetically “fingerprinted” in order to help develop surveillance and diagnostics tests to quickly identify the infecting strains and the best way to treat them in patients.
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public health with current treatment failing in as many as 15 to 50 percent of patients,” … “We believe this can be reduced drastically as we aim to help doctors choose more accurate and personalized antibiotic treatment when patients need it the most.” – Evgeni Sokurenko, MD, Ph.D., ARMADA Advisory Board Member and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Washington.