William Isidorio

Working Title:

"Investigating the Impacts of Diet on Gut Microbial Antibiotic Resistance (AMR) Among Distinct Adult Populations Living in Brazil"

Research Countries:

São Paulo, Brazil

Research Themes:

Health Governance


Data show that antimicrobial use (AMU) in the livestock sector is linked with the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), with wide-ranging consequences for human, animal, and environmental health (Robinson et al., 2016). Despite the accumulation of evidence relating the transmission of genes conferring bacterial resistance (ARGs) from animals to humans (Swann, 1969; O’Neill, 2015), and a demonstrated association between AMU in livestock and the transmission of these ARGs through the food chain (Marshall and Levy, 2011, Forslund et al., 2014), there remains an important gap in our knowledge regarding the possible extent of this transmission and the role of the food chain in AMR development and spread more broadly. Specifically, the hypothesis that the human gut microbiome - which serves as a reservoir of resistance with potential for both receiving and transferring ARGs - evolves into a larger, more capable, resistome in response to exposure to contaminated food products not yet been confirmed or denied. Against a backdrop of global intensification of livestock production, then, it become increasingly important to chart more clearly how such AMU in the livestock sector may contribute to the present threat of resistance.

Brazil is a country with continental proportions with high geographic and economic diversity, which can be further characterised by its relatively high use of antibiotics in its food animal production industry (Van Boeckel et al., 2015) and high meat consumption in kg/ capita (OECD-FAO, 2017). Using Brazil as a case study, this thesis would investigate the impacts of animal product consumption on human gut microbial AMR of healthy adults using a multi-pronged approach combining epidemiological and microbiological research. With the overarching aim being to compare the quantity and diversity of ARGs in fecal microbiota amongst distinct dietary groups living in the megacity of Sao Paulo, the major objectives of this project would be threefold:

1.     to collect data on the exposure variable (diet) via administration of dietary assessment tools;

2.     to characterise the taxonomic diversity (α, β) and abundance of ARGs using sequencing methods;

3.   to describe ARG patterns and examine relations with dietary (and other) metdata using statistical analysis




Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister (ZEF)

Prof. Dr. Christian Hoffmann (FoRC, USP)


Phone: +49 228 / 73 - 6759

Email: william.isidorio@usp.br

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