Seed Grant in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms
Organizers are L. Gayani Tillekeratne and Siddhartha Thakur. Infections due to antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacteria are becoming increasingly prevalent worldwide. In certain regions such as South Asia, a high proportion of otherwise healthy persons carry antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts. Since asymptomatic carriage is a precursor to infection, understanding the mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance has developed in these organisms may help identify targets for infection prevention. In this proposal, infectious diseases physicians, veterinarians, molecular epidemiologists, and phylogeneticists will team up under the “One Health” umbrella to determine the prevalence and transmission of antibiotic-resistance-encoding β-lactamases in a South Asian population. Identification of genetic relationships between β-lactamases may provide insight into the transmission of resistance between mothers,neonates, and their environments. The overall goal of this work is to identify intervention points that could be leveraged to prevent acquisition of antibiotic-resistant organisms and their resistance-encoding genes.