New research into the evolution of antibiotic resistance, including looking at methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is due to begin in the Netherlands.
The work is to be carried out over the next three years by Dr Marjon de Vos, one of seven young researchers attached to Wageningen University to receive a 250,000 grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
While livestock-associated-MRSA, for which a weaner in Northern Ireland recently tested positive, is not part of the current research outline, Dr de Vos hinted that a later move in that direction had not been ruled out.
“It may actually be interesting to include bacteria from farm livestock in future studies,” she told Pig World.
“Antibiotic resistance is a growing, world-wide problem as it impedes the treatment of bacterial infections. In infections caused by multiple pathogens, bacteria may have mutual interactions that affect their growth. At the moment little is known of the effect of these microbial interactions on the origin and evolution of antibiotic resistance.
“I therefore plan to investigate the effect of these bacterial interactions on the evolution of antibiotic resistance, which will include studying bacterial consortia containing Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus, among others. These are all bacteria which are known for their frequent resistance against antibiotics.”