The Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp (Belgium) has been organizing annual colloquia since 1959. This year’s colloquium was on antibiotic resistance, and was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 5th to 7th December. I was fortunate enough to be invited for the event, which featured speakers from the ITM (naturally) as well as regional and international experts. With the global interest in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) arising as a consequence from the actions of global bodies such as UN, WHO, FAO and OIE, there is greater focus on delivering new knowledge and solutions to this problem of evolution, although we are still far from returning (if this is even possible) to the “golden age” of antibiotics in the 1980s.

The guest of honour was the Health Minister, His Excellency Mam Bunheng.

There were probably over 200 persons at the conference.

The director of the National Public Health Laboratory, Cambodia – Prof Chau Darapheak – presenting on the results of sentinel surveillance of AMR from different hospitals in Cambodia.
A/Prof Direk Limathurotsakul from MORU Thailand presenting his work, and provocative ideas. The AMR Dictionary was presented here.

Laboratory workflow of the Battambang provincial referral hospital, presented by Ms Chiek Sivhour.
Dr Phe Tong from the Sihanouk Hospital Centre of HOPE presenting their 10-year results.
De Phe Tong again, speaking about antimicrobial stewardship in Cambodia.
Prof Ben Cooper from MORU Thailand. His conclusions from a review of the literature:
Hand hygiene = good.
Water sources in hospitals = can be deadly to patients (in the form of a reservoir for drug-resistant organisms).
Antimicrobial stewardship = needs more thought. Little visible impact on AMR.
Fecal transplants = ….
Artificial intelligence in antibiotic prescription = high future potential.
Prof Ir Por from the National Institute of Public Health, Cambodia, giving a talk on translating research to policy.
Surgical prophylaxis, a key target for antibiotic stewardship interventions.

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Antimicrobial resistance, Antimicrobial stewardship, Clinical microbiology, Conference, HIV, Infection control, Infectious diseases, MRSA, Outbreak, Public Health, Tropical medicine


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