A joint Biochemistry-Integrative Computational BioScience (ICBS) Center Seminar

Speaker: Kamolchanok Claire Chewapreecha
Title: : How genomics can help tackle antimicrobial resistance?
Time: Monday, 27 July 2015 at 10:00 AM
Venue: Room B301, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University

Abstract

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a commensal bacterium asymptomatically carried in the nasopharynx of healthy individuals. However, if the bacterium escapes from its natural habitat to other anatomical loci, it can cause a range of invasive diseases, which makes it a killer of over one million children annually. Despite high casualties, treatment has become more difficult as the bacteria rapidly develop antibiotic resistance. My PhD employs a collection of 3,085 whole genome sequences of pneumococcal isolates from a rural community in Thailand called “Maela”. This highly dense sampling gave an opportunity to investigate patterns of recombination and gene flows within the bacterial population, as well as changes in evolutionary patterns according to changes in selection pressure, especially the use of antibiotics over time. The study highlights the non-typable (capsule-null) strains, a less invasive and unaffected by currently licensed vaccines, as hubs of genetic exchanges in Maela pneumococcal population. Highly exchanged genes include those associated with antibiotic resistance, implying that the non-encapsulates may act as a reservoir of resistance that can be passed to pathogenic strains and thus enhance the threat posed by antibiotic resistance.