Challenge contest to spur antibiotic stewardship among medical students

12 Apr 2018

Written By Eneyi Kpokiri

Antimicrobial resistance is a substantial global health threat, with many pathogens becoming multidrug-resistant. Standard antimicrobial therapies are now failing and the pipeline for antibiotic development is currently limited. It is widely agreed that improving antibiotic prescribing practices will lead to reduced antibiotic use, which will hopefully translate into a reduction in antibiotic resistance rates. While antimicrobial stewardship programs have resulted in some positive changes, there is still a need for enhanced medical education on diagnostics, or laboratory tests that aim to aid clinical management and guide treatment decisions, and antimicrobial resistance.

Education and training specific to antimicrobial resistance are poor at many medical schools; information on current clinical diagnostics are also under-represented. One US study reports that ninety per cent of surveyed fourth-year medical students felt that they would like more education on the appropriate use of antibiotics! Given that the pipeline for new antimicrobials is relatively limited, this leaves opportunity for change in medical education.

A new form of antimicrobial stewardship

The International Diagnostics Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is organising a challenge contest to help remedy this. The purpose of the challenge is to collect patient cases on diagnostics and antibiotic resistance. The challenge encourages medical students, trainees, physicians and others to collect or write cases to be used in medical education and shared in an online resource that is free to access. This in itself is a form of antimicrobial stewardship.

The challenge encourages two types of clinical cases: “original cases” written specifically for the contest which have never been published before; and “adapted cases” that have been published elsewhere, but tailored for medical education use. The cases describe individual patients and must include at least one image and feature clinical diagnostic tests. Examples of clinical cases can be found at eMicrobe (it is free to sign up and read the case studies).

Individuals and groups that make strong contributions to this challenge will be recognised through commendations and prizes. Some individuals will be invited to join an antimicrobial resistance and diagnostics workshop in London in November 2018.  The final deadline for patient case submission is May 1st, 2018.


Any Questions?

Contact our challenge coordinator at