Optimising the stability and dosing regimens of antibiotics for outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Dr Fekade Simef.sime@uq.edu.au

Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) is increasing in scope and usage due to literature supporting its safety, patient acceptability and efficacy. OPAT is administered by healthcare professionals in the community or via self-administration by the patient. The use of infusion devices for continuous infusion over 24 hours increases feasibility of self-administered OPAT avoiding the need for multiple daily visits from healthcare personnel. However, in a community scenario, prolonged exposure of the antibiotic in an aqueous solution to ambient conditions increases the likelihood of drug degradation. A recent systematic review of the availability of the stability studies of antimicrobial in administration devices concluded that none of the included studies comply with regulatory standards. Consequently, there is uncertainty and lack of confidence for clinicians to use some antibiotics in an OPAT program. In Australia, there is a heightened concern due to the relatively high ambient temperature conditions. In this project, we aim to address drug stability problems associated with the use of antibiotic infusion in the community, to support clinical decision making and appraisal of dosing guidelines. We will assess whether stability of infusion preparations is acceptable, first in a simulated laboratory conditions. Next, for those antibiotics that fail to demonstrated adequate stability, we will perform a “real-life” stability study. We will also apply two innovative approaches to enable acceptable use by (1) designing novel formulation strategies that enhance drug stability and (2) using innovative mathematical modelling approaches that enable prediction of appropriate dosing regimens for OPAT settings. We will finally validate proposed novel dosing in a prospective clinical study. The project will generate robust data on antibiotic stability and optimal dosing for OPAT infusion preparation to inform clinical decision and appraisal of guidelines.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of pharmacokinetic analysis would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of pharmacy, medicine, clinical nursing and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of pharmacokinetics is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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