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Publications of the Week

Pandemic Fluoroquinolone Resistant Escherichia coli Clone ST1193 Emerged via Simultaneous Homologous Recombinations in 11 Gene Loci

By July 15, 2019No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in PNAS from the laboratory of Dr. Evgeni Sokurenko (pictured) at UW.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

My lab works on the evolution of bacterial virulence and antimicrobial resistance, the molecular mechanisms of bacterial adhesion to human cells and tissues, the development of anti-adhesive vaccines, antibodies and small molecule inhibitors, and clonal diagnostics of infectious diseases. The primary focus of the lab is on extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli, and other gram-negative bacteria.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

It shows that pandemic multi-drug resistant (‘superbug’) strains can emerge virtually instantly, without a multi-step prolonged evolution, by a one-time chromosomal gene exchange between distantly related bacterial strains. Potentially, this could be an exchange between a human pathogenic strain and a multi-drug resistant strain that come from animals or the environment.

What are the next steps for this research?

Finding out whether other superbug strains also emerged instantly by gene exchange, and identifying the main sources of the drug-resistant strains in nature.

This work was funded by:

The NIH and the Gerber Foundation.

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