Prevention and Restriction of Antimicrobial Resistance in Pneumococci by Multi-Level Modelling


The project

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major health threat in industrialized and developing countries. The pathogen affects both young and old people, immune-competent as well as immunocompromised individuals. By genetic recombination within diverse populations, individual strains are not only able to evade vaccination but also able to acquire antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which can then be transmitted onwards.This proposal aims to understand the mechanisms and distribution of this pneumococcal AMR repertoire at the genetic, bacterial, host and population levels to layout new strategies for risk assessment, prevention and reduction of AMR. In particular, the environmental, immunological and pharmacological drivers of resistance emergence and selection, the genetic population dynamics, as well as the fitness of the new traits in different host conditions will be analysed and modelled.To this end, a multinational consortium of researchers with complementary expertise has been formed. Available to the consortium are clinically important and newly emerged pneumococcal AMR strains, together with related patient metadata (clinical, genetic and transcriptomic) from clinical cohorts as well as highly detailed carriage sampling from a Thai cohort. Consortium members have proven expertise in microbiology, bacterial genetics, bioinformatics, in vivo/in vitro models while others are clinicians expert in the treatment of pneumococcal infections in both paediatric and adult patients.In a concerted effort, this consortium will develop countermeasures against antimicrobial resistance in a major health threat by multi-level modelling of its resistance emergence, selection, and transmission in diverse environments. 

Consortium composition:

Bentley, Stephen
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton
United Kingdom
Croucher, Nicolas
Imperial College London
Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
United Kingdom
Fittipaldi, Nahuel
University of Toronto
Public Health Ontario Laboratories
Kellner, James
University of Calgary
Dept. of Pediatrics & Alberta Health Services
Calgary Zone
Schmeck, Bernd
Philipps-University Marburg
Institute for Lung Research
Turner, Paul
University of Oxford
Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health
Nufflield Dept. of Medicine
United Kingdom
van der Poll,Tom
University of Amsterdam
Academic Medical Center
Center for Experimental & Molecular Medicine


This project is funded by the national funding institutions

Medical Research Council (MRC), United Kingdom
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Germany
Zorgonderzoek Nederland (ZON), Netherlands

within the frame of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance.