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To Investigate the Evolution, Composition, Overlap and Relative Importance of Antibiotic Resistance Conferring Plasmids and Their Bacterial Host Ranges in Humans, Animals and the Environment

Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a public health threat and largely attributed to heavy selective pressures resulting from widespread of antibiotic use coupled with the exchange of genetic resistance genes between microorganisms through plasmids. These plasmids can be specific to a type of host(s) limiting their spread or may be broad range with capabilities of spreading across species. Deciphering the complex interaction exits between humans, animals and the environment that supports the spread and evolution of antibiotic resistance can provide clues to stopping the spread and curing antibiotic resistance. The overall aim of the project is to investigate the evolution, composition, overlap and relative importance of antibiotic resistance conferring plasmids and their bacterial host ranges in humans, animals and the environment. The study employs portable next-generation sequencing technologies and machine learning to understand the role of plasmids in the evolution and spread of resistance. The long-term goal is to aid the development of strategies that can slow the spread of antibiotic resistance by gaining insight into the co-evolutionary processes that allow bacteria to improve the persistence of newly acquired MDR plasmids. This fundamental knowledge will support research into drug therapies based on restricting the horizontal transfer or stable replication of drug resistance or virulence plasmids in human pathogens

More information about Grand Challenges Africa: New Approaches to Characterize the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.