Antibiotic Resistant Sepsis Pathogens

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Experimental setup and methods

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Antimicrobial resistance is a severe threat globally. Infectious diseases claim more lives each year and are second only to heart diseases. Antibiotic intervention is one the most powerful and cost-effective medical actions, but is under severe threat from antibiotic resistance both in Australia and globally. Although antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally, inappropriate use in the community has led to high levels of resistance.

Studies tracking the spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens suggests that the co-evolution of increased bacterial virulence may play a role in the spread of resistant bacterial strains. This relationship is currently not well understood. A better understanding of bacterial infection and virulence (for example through established bloodstream infections or sepsis) is crucial to the development of new approaches to clinical management. Ideally, these approaches would minimise the impact of the bacterial infection but does not subsequently increase the bacteria's ability to resist antimicrobial treatments.

This strategy requires the coordinated action of multi-disciplinary teams to identify common pathogenic pathways that may be exploited for the early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of life-threatening bacterial infections. This was undertaken using a consortium-based approach. Data analysis and integration are on-going efforts.

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Please find the overview of the experimental workflow here.

The Antibiotic Resistant Sepsis Pathogens Framework Initiative aims to develop a framework dataset of 5 sepsis pathogens (5 strains each) using an integrated application of genomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic and proteomic technologies.

The pathogens included in this Initiative are:

  • Escherichia coli

  • Klebsiella pneumoniae complex

  • Staphylococcus aureus

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

  • Streptococcus pyogenes

Strains will be grown in defined laboratory media and in pooled human sera (to mimic sepsis conditions).

The outcomes of the studies will allow researchers to:

1) Compare RNA, metabolite and protein expression of the same strain in two different growth conditions

2) Compare RNA, metabolite and protein expression among strains of the same species

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