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A Method for Assessing the Reservoirs of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Howard Ochman of the University of Texas in the U.S. will develop an approach to identify bacteria that can spread antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria and harm human health. Most methods for monitoring antibiotic resistance are used once resistance has occurred. Here they will measure the capacity for developing resistance, which should help better evaluate how antibiotic resistance persists, spreads and circulates on a global scale. They will develop a simple method based on a single-cell technology to link a marker rRNA gene, for classifying the bacterial species, with a gene known to confer antibiotic resistance. They will use this method to identify antibiotic resistance gene-carrying bacteria within microbial communities comprising trillions of cells, and analyze how it spreads through a mixed bacterial population.

More information about Novel Approaches to Characterizing and Tracking the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance (Round 17)

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