The foodborne pathogen Salmonella poses a significant threat to human health worldwide. This is further complicated by the emergent spread of antibiotic resistant strains. Salmonella serotypes and subtypes can have different niches, from a broad range to a very specific niche, e.g. humans. Such bacteria can become very efficient in infecting humans and will contribute even more to the spread of antibiotic resistance. To combat the emergent spread of multiresistant bacteria, molecular monitoring of bacterial strains that show increased adaptation towards the human host, combined with high resistance and virulence, it is vital. While researchers can relatively accurately predict alarming resistant and virulent phenotypes based on whole genome sequencing data, niche adaptation prediction techniques are lagging behind. I will solve these problems by (i) analysing niche adaptation from a broad perspective and (ii) implementing cutting edge computational technologies to predict niche adaptation in Salmonella. This methodology will be built and tested on a model Salmonella serotype, Salmonella Concord. Salmonella Concord is intrinsically a highly virulent and resistant serotype, and shows geographical restriction (the Horn of Africa). It has been reported in Belgium through adopted children, mainly from Ethiopia. Insights from my research will empower health care innovations, and the predictive model will significantly improve risk assessment of pathogenic bacteria.
|Effective start/end date||26/04/18 → 23/06/23|
IWETO expertise domain