Lead Researcher: Dr. Raspail Carrel Founou
ARID is focused on molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics of foodborne and waterborne pathogens among immunocompromised patients such as children under five, people living with HIV and the elderly in Africa. We use conventional and advanced molecular epidemiology methods to map foodborne pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella spp., and Campylobacter. Our main goal is to build real-time surveillance tools that will allow to curb the dissemination of these life-threatening bacteria through the One Health spectrum. Our studies lead to understanding the pathogenesis, evolution, and transmission of foodborne pathogens among human, animal and environment interfaces. More specifically, we seek to (i) determine the pathogenicity of E. coli and non-Typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) responsible for gastroenteritis among children under five, thus reducing the morbidity and mortality due to diarrheal diseases, (ii) use enteric pathogens as an indicator of linear growth faltering among children under five in sub-Saharan Africa, and, (iii) unravel the most common lineages involved in foodborne diseases by means of phylogenetic analysis of genomic data.
Our current projects are:
- Molecular epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens isolated from animals, exposed workers and hospitalized patients: Evidence of a One health Implementation in Cameroon (CAREFOOD)
- Understanding the epidemiology and evolution of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic E. coli involved in gastro-enteritis among children under 5 years in Cameroon.
- Decrypting the population structure and zoonotic transmission of antibiotic-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella using whole-genome sequencing: Insights on a Vaccine development (VaciNTS)
- Deciphering the evolution and dynamic transmission of antibiotic-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella in pigs, exposed workers, hospitalized patients and wastewater treatment plants using metagenomics