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Microbiological, phylogenetic and bacteriophage susceptibility analysis of Escherichia coli recovered from sewage of São Paulo state

Grant number: 20/12592-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Ana Cristina Gales
Grantee:Willames Marcos Brasileiro da Silva Martins
Supervisor: Mark Alexander Toleman
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cardiff University, Wales  
Associated to the scholarship:18/24431-4 - Investigation and characterization of bacteriophages with lytic activity against the main epidemic bacterial clones recovered from Brazilian hospitals, BP.PD


Escherichia coli are one of the leading worldwide bacterial pathogens, main responsible by urinary and diarrheal infections. Some group of E. coli isolates are well-known to be more virulent and resistant than others, and in the last years, their genetic characterization raises due to use the Whole-genome sequence. As this micro-organism is also present in the human and animal gut, they are often detected in waste water. As well as E. coli, bacteriophages are also identifiable in sewage and have a close relationship with the bacterial population dynamics. Our objective with this study is to perform the genetic characterization of E. coli isolates recovered from the sewage of São Paulo and correlate this data with the bacteriophages' detection using waste water from different countries. We would also like to check the hypothesis that the presence of some bacteriophages can drive the E. coli population. To achieve these aims, a collection of 300 E. coli isolates already recovered from sewage (human carriage) and hospitals from the cities of São Paulo, Barueri, and Bragança Paulista will be submitted to microbiological and genomic characterization. In addition, lytic bacteriophage investigation will be performed using the collection of 300 isolates as hosts against sewage collected from Brazil, Bangladesh, England, Wales, Kazakhstan, Saudi-Arabia, and Thailand. Furthermore, the recovered bacteriophages will be submitted for initial microbiological characterization, with the aim to build a library containing as many phages as possible. The new knowledge acquired as a result of this study will provide a better understanding of the population distribution of E. coli across São Paulo State, it will also offer a good bacteriophage collection as a different range of sewage will be tested against our samples. (AU)

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