Invasive Lineages of AMR Salmonella, Trojan Horses in Africa

  • Van Puyvelde, Sandra (PI)
  • Deborggraeve, Stijn (Promotor)
  • Jacobs, Jan (Copromotor)
  • Dougan, Gordon (PI)
  • Stas, Martha (Administrator)

Project Details


In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the Salmonella bacterium is the dominant cause of severe bloodstream infections, resulting in a major health burden. Strikingly, not Salmonella Typhi, well described to cause typhoid fever, is responsible for the high rates of bloodstream infections, but Salmonella serovars Enteritidis and Typhimurium are leading the rankings. These serovars are well described in high-income countries as causes of milder gastroenteritis, but recent lineages in SSA have evolved to cause severe infections in humans. Meanwhile, these new lineages are showing alarming levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In 2017, WHO has prioritized Salmonella as one of the bacteria for which urgently new antibiotics are needed.
Invasive Salmonella in Africa is thus evolving to become an efficient killer: it is causing a more severe disease, while treatment is being jeopardized by increased AMR. We hypothesize that invasive Salmonella in SSA is evolving towards a simpler, reduced cell surface, which might possibly give an opportunity to hide from immunological and antimicrobial responses. No other studies have addressed this topic yet, although the impact would be major, from a biological/evolutionary up to an applied/clinical perspective (vaccine and diagnostics development, AMR).
This PPP project will yield pilot data allowing PI Dr. Sandra Van Puyvelde to apply for competitive national and European funding to further establish this research line, i.e. a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship and/or FWO postdoctoral fellowship in preparation for an ERC Starting Grant and/or a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship.
Effective start/end date1/10/1831/12/19


  • Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp: €49,334.60