Predicting future pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance
Research Project, 2022 – 2027

Outside of the most common pathogens, our knowledge of which genes that contribute to pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance is very limited. To prevent future outbreaks of bacterial infectious diseases, potentially carrying novel forms of antibiotic resistance, we need to understand what types of pathogenicity mechanisms that still are not widespread among human pathogens. This project will provide the fundament for comprehensive preemptive surveillance to prevent disease outbreaks before they have large consequences for human health, by tackling these research questions: 1) what genes in opportunistic pathogens contribute to pathogenicity; 2) how do pathogens influence interactions in established communities; and 3) how do bacteria develop resistance to new antibiotics? These questions will be addressed through a combination of microbial model communities, large-scale transposon mutagenesis (INSeq), high-throughput culturing, as well as DNA and RNA sequencing. This will allow us to 1) identify novel mechanisms for competition and virulence in opportunistic pathogens, 2) follow how pathogens interact with established communities, 3) identify genes and species important for community stability and resilience, and 4) identify genes conferring resistance to novel antibiotics. The project will enable data driven surveillance to prevent the emergence of highly virulent multi-resistant bacteria and to contain emerging infectious diseases before they cause major outbreaks.


Johan Bengtsson-Palme (contact)

Chalmers, Life Sciences, Systems and Synthetic Biology


Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)

Project ID: FFL21-0174
Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2027


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