Antibiotic resistance is one of the most serious threats facing humanity. Unlike other problems such as clean energy, global climate change, and sustainable farming, we have no idea how to move forward to maintain the usefulness of antibiotics, and thus the ability to cure infections.
In an effort to inform hospitals about the antibiotic resistance threats most likely to result in treatment failures, this project sequences the genomes of microbial isolates collected from Mercy Medical Center to determine what genetic components are making them resistant to antibiotics and creates a network available to hospitals for both accessing information about what resistance has been found in other hospitals and disseminating the information about resistance that an individual hospital collects. This effort is intended to prolong, over the short-term, the ability of doctors to identify the most effective antibiotic treatments, and over the long term, create a cooperative network that can examine and test different approaches to antibiotic resistance.
Update: We have sequenced 24 genomes to obtain an initial data set, determine relatedness of bacteria, and assess the quality of sequencing. With this preliminary analysis now completed we are moving forward with more genomic sequencing, paying special attention to those resistance genes that we detected in the preliminary set.