Predicting the Arrival of "Superbugs"
Ilana Brito of Cornell University in the U.S. will develop a model that predicts the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (superbugs) in specific locations by identifying bacteria living in the guts of the local population that carry antibiotic resistance genes, and determining how likely these genes will be passed on to pathogenic bacteria. Knowing where antibiotic resistance might emerge means it can be more effectively monitored and potentially prevented by limiting antibiotic use in those areas. They will develop a multi-level risk model for drug-resistant typhoid using human samples from a preexisting cohort. The samples will be sequenced to identify gut bacteria that carry specific drug-resistance genes. These data will be used to develop a matrix that calculates the chance that the genes will be transferred to another species of bacteria.