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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Grand Challenges – Environmental Niches of Salmonella Typhi (Round 23)

Deadline: April 10, 2019

Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) caused an estimated 10 million typhoid cases and 117,000 deaths in 2017 (Global Burden of Disease 2017). S. Typhi strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics have emerged (Klemm et al. 2018) and are stretching health systems in multiple low- and middle-income settings (Andrews et al. 2018).

The Environmental Niches of Salmonella Typhi Challenge will support projects that examine the environmental niches of S. Typhi. The Foundation is interested in understanding:

  • Survival of S. Typhi in the context of the soil and water microbiomes. S. Typhi survives for 3 weeks in the presence of A. castellani, but for no more than 10 days by itself (Frédéric Douesnard-Malo and Daigle 2011). Do interactions with other organisms impact survival of S. Typhi? How do they impact transmissibility of the bacterium?
  • Survival of S. Typhi within other organisms. Similar to V. cholerae, which thrives within zooplankton (Lipp, Huq, and Colwell 2002), does S. Typhi interact with aquatic multicellular organisms? If yes, how does this impact the transmission and epidemiology of typhoid?
  • Impact of environmental niches on the development of antibiotic resistance in S. Typhi. What is the relative amount of time S. Typhi spends in the environment compared to in infected individuals? How does this impact its exposure to antibiotics, and the development of antibiotic resistance in S. Typhi strains?

The Foundation is interested in funding:

  • Studies of S. Typhi in the context of soil and water microbiomes, with clear implications for survival, virulence, or antibiotic resistance
  • Examining survival of S. Typhi within or in the presence of free-living protozoans
  • Examining the role of the environment (soil, water, residual antibiotics) in the development of AMR in S. Typhi
  • Transcriptome analysis and mutagenesis of S. Typhi to identify genes associated with particular environmental niches

In all cases, the relevance of findings to the epidemiology of typhoid must be clear

Amount: Awards of $100,000 USD are made in Phase I. Phase I awardees have one opportunity to apply for a follow-on Phase II award of up to $1,000,000.

Eligibility: Foreign and domestic organizations, including nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, international organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions.

Link: https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/challenge/environmental-niches-salmonella-typhi-round-23

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