Astrid von Mentzer

International Postdoc fellow, Mathematical Sciences

I am currently based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. My research project is called "A One Health approach to study the diarrhoea causing pathogen enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)."

Humans and animals are susceptible to infections caused by the intestinal pathogen ETEC, which, if left untreated, may cause life-threating diarrhea. Bacteria exchange genetic material, for instance, antibiotic resistance, through multiple molecular mechanisms. The spread of antibiotic resistance between bacteria infecting humans and animals or both can result in multi-drug resistance and difficult-to-treat infections. It is the latter that may be our greatest challenge. For ETEC, my findings so far, challenge the notion that ETEC normally infects only one host. My research focuses on how ETEC have evolved towards infecting multiple hosts and how specific virulence factors as well as antibiotic resistance determinants are transmitted between strains by using comparative genomics approaches.

Published: Tue 29 Oct 2019.