Current Associate

Surveillance Sampling to Identify, Predict, and Prevent Disease Transmission and Antibiotic Resistance in Western Uganda
Rebecca Stumpf
Associate 2018-19

Professor Stumpf oversees disease and anti-microbial resistance (AMR) surveillance sampling in the complex, natural environment of her research site in Western Uganda. Using seed money from the Gates Foundation, she and her colleagues will sample interconnected ecological sources to track the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the presence of two common viruses (adenovirus and rotovirus). After sequencing these samples, they will apply novel microbial phylogenetic forensic methods to identify AMR strains and viruses and track their routes of transmission. They hypothesize that AMR and viruses transit across a broad swath of host species and environments in Western Uganda, and that variation in the strains and distribution of AMR genes and viruses across hosts and ecologies provides an effective means of identifying, tracking, predicting, and limiting pathways for transmission.

This CAS appointment allows Professor Stumpf to ensure rigorous sampling in Uganda and establish proof of concept needed to develop a competitive proposal for Gates Phase II funding. Because AMR and viral transmission are complex problems with multiple interconnected drivers, a zoonotic and anthropogenic community-wide characterization of the presence and prevalence of AMR genes and viruses is needed. Ultimately, this research will help to identify and manage the interacting anthropogenic and environmental forces driving the rapid spread of AMR and disease in this region and beyond, leading to more effective prevention and treatment of infection.