Centre of Antimicrobial Resistance, University of Dundee. This project was part of my MSc Medical Art
Researchers of the Centre of Antimicrobial Resistance are working on developing new compounds to fight "super bugs", microorganisms that have acquired resistance to the antibiotics we use to treat them.
Antimicrobial resistance is troublesome to tackle, partly because many of us inadvertently use antibiotics too freely or know very little about the topic. The goal of this project is to help raise awareness of Antimicrobial Resistance, both among the general public and fellow researchers.
We decided to create a series of images, from the human to the molecular level, as a way to create a connection between our everyday lives and the main focus of the line of research, the Gram negative efflux pump. The images were made available to the researchers without labels to allow them flexibility in their presentations. They are meant to be used in the context of a lecture or presentation. I also created a Prezi displaying the images with some additional information about Antimicrobial resistance.
WHY DOES ANTIMICROBIAL
Follow the image sequence to understand the connection between our socio-economic situation and the laboratory research at molecular level.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) threatens the prevention and treatment of an increasing range of diseases, and it affects many countries regardless of their income. Treatment becomes more expensive and less effective, and mortality increases. This infographic contains general information about AMR from the social and economic perspective. To learn more, you can view the full Prezi.
The second image shows Escherichia coli, one of the bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to our antibiotics. These bacteria could be causing a disease to the patient in the previous image. This sequence creates a connection between our daily lives and the cellular world.
But how do these bacteria become resistant to antibiotics? There are many mechanisms that allow them to do so. The next images illustrates some of the mechanisms of resistance that allow bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic (represented as blue spheres). The research groups is focusing on one of this mechanisms, the efflux pump, represented as a red protein.
If we were able to zoom in on the red protein from the previous image, we would see something like this (see next image). This final image shows the efflux pump in detail. This is the protein that the research group is trying to understand. By understanding the protein, they can focus on ways to target it and avoid antimicrobial resistance in bacteria that use this mechanism to become resistant to our antibiotics. By following the sequence, we have seen the connection between the large-scale consequences of antimicrobial resistance and the molecular research that is taking place in the laboratory.
The last two images were featured in the lecture by Mike Ferguson, Regius Professor of Life Sciences "What is the University of Dundee doing about infectious diseases?"
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