Mumbai: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) from medical professionals in tertiary care hospitals to expand the footprint of ICMR- antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance network in secondary level hospitals.

The EOI can be submitted through online mode only by medical professionals who have regular employment in tertiary care hospitals (government, private and non-government organization) having previous experience of undertaking AMR surveillance and willing to work with secondary level hospitals.

Medical professionals should also have documentary evidence of their recognition including a Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) certificate, and experience in implementing Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and antimicrobial resistance surveillance (AMS) programmes.

The date of submission of EOIs is December 16, 2023 and shortlisting of EOIs is by January 17, 2023.

Implementing robust antimicrobial surveillance activities and establishing an antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program are recognized as pivotal and effective intervention in addressing the AMR crisis. The ICMR has taken the initiative to address this gap by establishing Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance and Research Network (AMRSN) and implementing AMS programs in tertiary care hospitals.

Applicants (mentoring hospitals) should meet the following criteria like hospitals must have a functioning Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC) in place with essential members like infectious disease physician (or any clinician inclined for AMS/HIC), infection control nurses, clinical microbiologist, pharmacist, hospital Administrator. They should actively participate in conducting meetings and engage in active monitoring of hospital acquired infection rates and active monitoring of hand hygiene and compliance with other infection control practices. Hospitals should have an antibiotic stewardship team with a well-established AMS programme for the last 3 years.

The functional AMS programme should be supporting evidence like data on compliance with hospital antibiotic policy, updated hospital antibiotic policy in-terms of frequency and efficacy of interventions done in antibiotic prescription in hospital, monitoring of antibiotic consumption for in-patient beds etc.

The EOI must address the specific research question towards expanding the footprint of the ICMR-AMR surveillance network to include secondary level hospitals. The applicant should demonstrate well-established expertise and proven proficiencies in the realm of AMS implementation in their hospital. Foreign collaboration is not allowed under this call.

The EOI documents for the ICMR’s study on antimicrobial resistance research and surveillance activities in the secondary level hospitals will be evaluated by the ICMR. The ICMR team will screen the applications for technical accuracy and eligibility. The shortlisted teams will then collaborate to develop a detailed proposal, under the guidance of ICMR headquarters.

The proposal will be evaluated based on factors such as study design, feasibility, well established facilities, prior experience and potential for value addition to the existing knowledge. The feasibility and suitability of integration of the proposed methodology in the final proposal to be developed under the guidance of ICMR headquarters shall also be considered while shortlisting the EOI.

ICMR has an AMR research and surveillance initiative and publishes trends of AMR in the country annually.