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Microbiological fluorescence observatory for antibiotic resistance tracking

Microbiological fluorescence observatory for antibiotic resistance tracking

Objective

The accurate quantification of microbial populations is critical for understanding how microbes evolve and adapt to stressful environments. This, in turn, can help improve rationales for drug deployment aimed at minimising the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Working on ERC-funded research into how microbial communities optimise their virulence traits and mediate drug-resistance, our team identified a need for a low cost photometry device capable of high-throughput quantification of microbial phenotypes such as microbial growth rates and metabolic efficiencies; microbial dose responses and susceptibility to antibiotics; antibiotic interactions datasets; microbial individuality and heterogeneity data and population mean gene expression profiles for fluorescently labeled genes. There are multiple positive consequences of having these capabilities at low cost: we can create high-throughput data pipelines for microbiology research, particularly for evolutionary studies or phenotypic screens; we can improve the dissemination of high-quality phenotypic data analysis algorithms (such as synergy tests for antibiotics) and so provide standardisation for those phenotypic assays; schools can benefit from the low-costs laboratory hardware and bring data analysis for microbiology into their mathematics, biology or computer science teaching; our lightweight devices with small footprints can be used to access geographically hard-to-reach areas where drug resistance phenotyping could be conducted using either battery or solar power. We are, therefore, now in the process of creating two prototypes that can perform these functions and we are seeking funding to finalise their design and field test the devices in three different settings: a partner research laboratory studying microbial evolution, a hospital research laboratory studying antimicrobial resistance and finally schools in a top-10 deprived area of the UK that cannot afford biotechnology equipment for teaching science.
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Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

Address

The Queen'S Drive Northcote House
Ex4 4qj Exeter

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 149 249

Beneficiaries (1)

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THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 149 249

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 812806

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 October 2018

  • End date

    31 March 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 149 249

  • EU contribution

    € 149 249

Hosted by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

United Kingdom