• Spencer Bruce

Pathogen diversity and antibiotic resistance

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

Persistence of antibiotic resistant microbes is a major concern throughout the world, posing a considerable threat to human health and wildlife


Acquired antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has the potential to drive microbial evolution, but AMR’s dynamic role in shaping the global genomic structure of various Staphylococcus species is still largely unknown. My current work on virulent Staphylococcus species in the northeastern United States focuses on the population genomics and distribution of three species; Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus schleiferi. Preliminary work has identified a number of distinct AMR genes circulating in New England sampled by the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Analyses in the context of biogeography indicates that a number of these resistant sequence types are also found globally. Understanding factors shaping global genomic structure at various geographic scales is critical to identifying drivers of evolution in dangerous pathogens. As difficult to treat infections increasingly threaten human populations by means of zoonosis, identifying the responsible AMR genotypes will be key to strategies aimed at mitigating their long-term impact.

Funding & Acknowledgments This work is supported by Dr. Cheryl Andam's lab at the University at Albany, the University of New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

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