EPIDEMIOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND MOLECULAR GENETICS OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE IN PATHOGENIC AND COMMENSAL BACTERIA FROM FOOD ANIMALS
Location: Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance
Project Number: 6612-32000-045-00
Start Date: May 05, 2011
End Date: Nov 03, 2011
1. Use antibiotic resistance data obtained from the Collaboration on Animal Health and Food Safety Epidemiology (CAHFSE) and the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System - Enteric Bacteria (NARMS) programs and poultry studies to identify sources, reservoirs and amplifiers of resistant food borne and commensal bacteria, as well as the path of dissemination of these resistant bacteria in food producing animals and poultry. Results may be used for risk assessment and in developing mitigation strategies.
2. Map the spread of antimicrobial resistance throughout the US using molecular epidemiology and population genetic studies of antimicrobial resistant bacterial isolates, including participation in USDA VetNet.
3. Analyze and differentiate antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, both phenotypically and genotypically, and rapidly identify resistant strains.
Under current funding, this research is designed to be conducted by a team of five scientists, each focusing on one particular organism or area. Each SY will design a specific research plan maximizing collaborations within the Unit structure. Although independent research will be conducted, a majority of experiments will be interactive, minimizing the need to repeat experimental samplings, particularly in the field. This research format will also maximize acquisition of data which will provide insight of the interaction between bacterial populations within the host and/or environment, particularly those interactions involving food borne zoonotic and commensal bacteria. Three SYs will focus on the molecular aspects of AR, particularly in Campylobacter, Salmonella and commensal bacteria (E. coli and enterococci). Critical to the molecular research will be epidemiologic studies provided by the CAHFSE program and ecologic (field and environment) studies which will not only provide a source of isolates for the molecular studies, but will also determine prevalence and dissemination of AR attributes within production settings, the environment, and among bacterial populations. Another significant source of isolates will be available from the NARMS program. These isolates will be well characterized to the serotype level and antimicrobial resistance phenotype. Additionally, all isolates will have been subjected to PFGE analysis to determine relatedness among isolates. Specific genotypic characterization will be conducted.
Pathogenic studies involving bacterial strains collected from the CAHFSE and the
NARMS programs, as well as those which have been genetically modified in the
laboratory, will provide information regarding virulence (or lack thereof)
associated with the acquisition of AR. Additionally, transfer of resistance genes
may be studied under these environments.