Congratulations to Dr. Patty Pavlinac (Assistant Professor, Global Health) and her team of co-investigators, who received a competitive UW Royalty Research Fund award to study antibiotic resistance in E.coli, Salmonella, and Shigella among children in limited-resource settings. Dr. Pavlinac is co-director of Global WACh’s Gut Health and Child Survival scientific priority and is an emerging expert in pediatric enteric disease epidemiology. This new one-year project will be an extension of her ongoing research in diarrheal disease and antibiotic therapy in sub-Saharan Africa. This close examination of the genetic determinants of antibiotic resistance among recently hospitalization children in Kenya offers much needed insight into documenting the burden, risk factors, and transmission of antibiotic resistance in Kenya.
Antibiotics have revolutionized the treatment of common bacterial infections and currently play a crucial role in reducing childhood mortality. However, the alarming increase in antibiotic resistance among bacteria is becoming a global concern and it threatens to undo progress made in childhood survival. In this new project, Dr. Pavlinac and her study team will genetically characterize the antibiotic resistance patterns of bacteria isolated from the stool of Kenyan children who were recently discharged from hospitals, a population at high risk of death and re-hospitalization, as part of the ongoing NIH-funded Toto Bora trial (PI: Dr. Judd Walson). Information on prevalent resistance genes in E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella could reveal transmission patterns of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens that spread to vulnerable communities and windows of intervention opportunities. The findings will be important to inform clinical management and strategic planning policies to reduce the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections in Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Pavlinac’s team includes a multidisciplinary team of investigators, Dr. Olusegun Soge (Assistant Professor, Global Health and Medicine), Dr. Judd Walson (Professor, Global Health, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology [Adjunct]), Dr. Ferric Fang (Professor, Laboratory Medicine; Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Harborview Medical Center), Dr. Benson Singa (Research Scientist, Kenya Medical Research Institute [KEMRI]), and Research Assistants Stephanie Belanger (PhD Candidate in Epidemiology, UW) and Doreen Rwigi (MS Student in Microbiology, KEMRI).