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Dr Olga Tosas-Auguet

Dr Olga Tosas-Auguet

Podcast interview

Mapping bacterial antibiotic resistance

Resistance to antibiotics is a growing issue worldwide. Mapping where the resistance is as well as its distribution and diversity is hampered by the lack of laboratory facilities in many parts of the world. New technologies allow the characterisation of whole pathogen communities, giving us clues where multi-drug resistant organisms come from. This can help set up a better public health perspective surveillance.

View transcript

Olga Tosas-Auguet

Senior Scientist


I am working on a Phase 1 Global Challenges Explorations award that seeks to develop and evaluate a new approach to large scale surveillance of bacterial antibiotic resistance in low income settings, which can then be taken forward to a testing stage initially in partnership with an emerging network of policy makers and healthcare practitioners in Africa (Project title: Metrics for Public Health – Perspective Surveillance of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance). The work involves a combination of population-level metagenomics studies, led by Dr Nicole Stoesser at the Modernising Medical Microbiology Consortium, and mathematical analyses of data in collaboration with Professor Ben Cooper (Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit), and a team of co-investigators based in UK and at Oxford Tropical Network Wellcome Programmes in South East Asia (Cambodia-Oxford Medical Research Unit) and Africa (Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) | Wellcome Collaborative Research Programme).

I am also working on an ESRC pump-priming award with Professor Mike English and co-investigators at Kenya, UK and WHO Geneva Headquarters (Project title: Infection Prevention and Control and Antibiotic Stewardship to Avert Antibiotic Resistance in High Risk Populations from Resource Poor Settings). The study aims to provide a platform for the systematic formulation and testing of context-appropriate behaviour change/integrated interventions to improve infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship (IPC-ABS) in high-risk populations in Kenya hospitals, based on critical analysis of national policy, organisational and practice environments and group- and individual-level behaviours. We anticipate that proposed interventions to improve patient safety and limit the emergence and spread of bacterial antibiotic resistance though IPC-ABS, will be generalizable to other settings in East Africa.

I am collaborating in two studies that are tracking and mapping the distribution of antibiotic resistant bacteria and resistance genes in relation to sociodemographic traits in South East London communities. These studies are led by the Centre for Clinical Infection and Diagnostics Research - King’s College London & Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.