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We are working with collaborators from across industry, research and government to co-design this mission. This summary reflects the mission in development and will continue to evolve.


Taking a One Health approach to manage rising drug-resistant infections

The rise of drug-resistant infections are already undermining modern medicine. They are now one of the greatest threats facing humanity. Bacteria and other microbes are acquiring and developing increased resistance to the drugs designed to kill them. This growing resistance is largely due to our overuse of antimicrobials in human and animal medicine.

If we do not reverse the growing occurrence of antimicrobial resistance, we will return to the dark ages of medicine where surgery becomes inherently risky and currently treatable infections and injuries kill once again.

As this issue gains momentum in Australia and globally, there is a growing consensus from governments and non-governmental organisations that resistance anywhere is resistance everywhere. This means any solution must take a 'One Health' approach, which recognises the contribution of humans, animals, plants and the environment to AMR.

This requires an understanding of the development and spread of AMR, and the ever-changing risk to human and animal lives, our primary industries, and trade and market access.

Potential impact

The predicted impact of AMR globally:

  • Deaths from infections that were treatable with antibiotics will rise from 700,000 in 2015 to 10 million in 2050
  • In livestock, AMR will result in up to 7.5% decrease in livestock production
  • A decline in GDP of between 3.8-5% by 2050
  • An increase in 28.3 million people in extreme poverty
  • Real exports shrinking by 1.1%
  • Healthcare costs increases from $300 billion to >$1 trillion per year.

We will deliver scaleable and exportable science and engineering solutions that will reduce the threat of AMR. In doing so, human and animal lives will be saved; jobs, trade and market access will be protected, and agricultural exports will be increased.

Proposed focus

The developing Mission will deliver One Health strategies to mitigate the impact of antimicrobial resistance on humans, animals and the environment through the development and deployment of advanced surveillance and interventions that prevent, detect and respond to drug-resistant infections.

The developing Mission supports:

  • Surveillance and Monitoring: creation of an AI-driven surveillance and decision support platform that takes a One Health approach to AMR, integrating diverse and disparate datasets with an initial focus on Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. Includes diagnostic and monitoring devices, such as biosensors, that generate critical data to be used in decision support and the evaluation and success of interventions (within and outside of healthcare settings).
  • Intervention and Remediation: development of new technology-driven interventions such as antimicrobial substances and surfaces that mitigate or remediate AMR hot spots, and nutritional substances and microbiome modifications to reduce the spread of AMR and the reliance on antibiotics.

Project highlight: can we stop the rise of superbugs?

We're working with a range of organisations to tackle antimicrobial resistance with OUTBREAK

OUTBREAK, led by the University of Technology Sydney, is a world-first surveillance system designed to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance in Australia and across the world. Powered by artificial intelligence, OUTBREAK will use new sensor technologies and huge data sets to track, trace and tackle antibiotic-resistant infections, helping us to save lives.

A single germ has upturned our world,
causing fear, chaos, death
The new coronavirus
infecting millions, costing billions, reshaping daily life
But even deadlier germs are on the rise,
threatening our health, food, economy
Mutant bacteria are spreading where we eat, play, live
These superbugs are immune to antibiotics
allowing a simple scratch to become a deadly infection
Threatening the success of
routine surgeries, emergency operations, joint replacements, caesarian sections, organ transplants, cancer treatment
To manage the rise of superbugs, Australia needs a new surveillance system to track, trace, tackle infection hotspots
That system is called OUTBREAK
A national superbug warning system, using data analysis, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence
To predict and prevent superbug threats in our aged care, communities, hospitals
To predict and prevent superbug threats in our food supply, environment, wildlife, wastewater
Harnessing Australia’s brightest minds to save lives and safeguard our health care, economy, way of life.

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