AMR is a priority health issue and effective and responsive surveillance systems are needed at national and regional levels to contain it. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India, launched Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance and Research Network (AMRSN) in 2013 with an avowed purpose of strengthening surveillance and rationalizing exploratory research.
AMRSN is generating data on drug resistant infections and AMR patterns nationally which is being used to devise guidelines, educate and connect the members of antimicrobial community. The network is providing new insights to the molecular mechanisms of resistance, the clonality of drug-resistant pathogens and the transmission dynamics to enable better understanding of AMR in Indian perspective.
A nationwide Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme (AMSP) has been initiated by ICMR to facilitate the judicious use of antimicrobials and improve the diagnostic stewardship and infection control practices.
ICMR has developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of laboratory diagnosis and data management module for the network, and issued standard treatment guidelines, hospital infection control guidelines, AMSP curriculum and AMSP guidelines. These manuals and guidelines are revised and updated time to time to guide the laboratory procedures and healthcare practices.
The network, although currently covers only human health aspect, plans to scale up nationally to include more institutes and hospitals and expand its ambit to embrace other aspects of AMR to reflect the One Health approach to surveillance.
Dr Rajiv Bahl
Secretary DHR & Director General ICMR, New Delhi
Scientist 'F' & Head
Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases(ECD), ICMR, New Delhi