Ruth Maganga

Project: Antimicrobial resistance in foodborne enteric pathogens and commensals

About Ruth: It is a great privilege to have this opportunity of working with the ZELS AS program to address the problem of antimicrobial resistance, which is a serious health problem in humans and animals. I am enthusiastic to devote my experience and knowledge to this project in order to come up with strong scientific information on the occurrence and routes of dissemination of antimicrobial resistance between commensals and enteric food borne bacterial pathogens. Upon completion of this project, I expect to contribute to public and animal health improvement in Tanzania. I further believe through this program I will be able to strengthen and improve my research skills. Working with a team of researchers both at the local and international level will give me an opportunity to develop a good sense of team work, which is indispensable and highly profitable in science.

About the project: This project is linked with the project on Hazards Associated with Zoonotic enteric pathogens in Emerging LIvestock meat pathways (HAZEL). Increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance and a lack of development of new drugs mean that resistant bacterial pose a major threat to public health. Many studies focus on antimicrobial resistance in human or animal pathogens, but reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance exist in commensal organisms too. This is particularly relevant when commensal organism share a niche with pathogens, as in the case of enteric organisms such as Salmonella or E. coli, where there is potential for lateral gene transfer between bacterial species.

This project will focus on phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of antimicrobial resistance determinants in specific enteric organisms and quantification of resistance determinants in faeces of host species that are important in emerging livestock meat pathways in Tanzania, i.e. cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. It will draw on a range of methodologies, including bacteriology, molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics and mathematical modelling. It is envisaged that the PhD will address occurrence and routes of dissemination of antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella and E. coli from livestock and other species in Northern Tanzania.

The project will be based at the University of Glasgow. Initial field work and diagnostic testing will be conducted in Tanzania in collaboration with colleagues at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology and Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Supervisors: Prof Ruth Zadoks and Dr Louise Matthews (Main supervisors, Glasgow).