Prevention and Restriction of Antimicrobial Resistance in Pneumococci by Multi-Level Modelling (Restrict-Pneumo-AMR)







Microorganisms live in most parts of our body, including the inside of our nose. Most of the microbes are harmless and can even be beneficial to our health. However, some microbes can cause diseases – although they often go unnoticed, as our immune system can remove them before we show any symptoms.

Completed project

For example, the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis, but generally, it lives harmlessly in the nose, and is particularly common in children and the elderly. The longer the bacteria live in the nose before being killed by the immune system, the more likely they are to be transmitted to another person. The amount of time it takes for the immune system to clear the bacteria depends on various factors, such as the age of the person or the bacterium’s defense mechanism and its genetic material. A particularly important aspect is to what subtype, also known as serotype, a bacterium belongs to, which is characterized by differences in the structure of the sugar coating that surrounds the microbe. However, until now, it was not known how much each of these factors contributes.

This project provides new information for understanding the processes of evolution within the host and the mechanisms by which antibiotic treatment can influence the selection for antibiotic resistance.

Project partners

  • Stephen Bentley, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom (Coordinator)
  • Nahuel Fittipaldi, Public Health Ontario Laboratories, Canada
  • James Kellner, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Bernd Schmeck, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
  • Paul Turner, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Tom van der Poll, Academic Medical Center University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Nicolas Croucher, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Project resources


The Global Pneumococcal Sequencing (GPS) project: How can whole-genome sequencing be used to make vaccines more effective?