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ISID Research Capacity Building: More Updates from Cohort I

ISID's research grants are one of the Society’s signature programs. They are instrumental in fulfilling ISID’s commitment to funding researchers from countries that bear the greatest health and economic burden from infectious diseases.

See what two of our mentees from Cohort I are up to with the progress of their research thus far!

Kazi Injamamul Hoque

Project: Identifying the genetic relatedness of Carbapenem-resistant A. baumanni (CRAB) isolated from pregnant mothers, newborns and hospital environments in Bangladesh

→ Read abstract here


  • Our study is the first in the country to identify CRAB transmission across mother-newborn pairs and hospital environments.
  • We identified the transmission of CRAB (ST23) across two mother-newborn pairs, one unrelated mother, one unrelated newborn, and six environmental surfaces: the dressing room tap, the toilet door, the postnatal room door, the nurse station, a medical bottle, a bed cover in the ward, and a newborn resuscitation tray.
  • We found two clonal CRAB isolates of ST10 in two different hospital environmental sources: the dressing room tap and toilet door.
  • Of the 18 CRAB samples that underwent whole genome sequencing, 17 (94%) harbored blaADC-76, blaNDM-1, blaOXA-58, and blaADC-68.


This study identified high rates of CRAB colonization as well as cross transmission in mothers post-delivery and in newborns at a very early stage of life. Various hospital environments, including healthcare workers, served as potential reservoirs for CRAB colonization. Hospital environmental transmission of CRAB during perinatal period highlights the poor infection prevention and control strategy in hospital settings, reinforcing close monitoring to prevent CRAB outbreaks in Bangladeshi health facilities. Further research is warranted to follow up with the CRAB carriers for any future infections.

Library preparation for WGS using eppendorf epMotion 5075 liquid
Bioinformatics analyses of genome sequences in the Linux operating system

Monica Francis, Tanzania

Project: Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of human leptospirosis infection among agro-pastoral communities in Northern Tanzania

Read abstract here


  • Sample laboratory analysis was implemented, this included serological analysis for serotypes detection and molecular analysis for genotypes characterization of Leptospira specie infecting humans.
  • For serology; Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) was used to test the 287 serum samples that were collected during sampling.
  • For serodiagnosis; the samples were tested against 5 leptospira antigens; including local serogroups Canicola, Pomona, Sokoiine, Grippotyphosa, and Hebdomadis. Samples with MAT titers ≥ 1:160 were scored as positive, samples with MAT titers ranging from 1:20 to 1:80 were scored as exposed to Leptospira, and absence of agglutination titers was scored as negative.
  • For molecular analysis; DNA extraction was done for 287 plasma samples  9 out 0f 287 samples tested positive for the detection of pathogenic Leptospira.


  • I have been able to complete the serodiagnosis of Leptospirosis against 5 leptospira antigens in all 287 samples that were collected during sampling. And also I have been able to carry out molecular analysis; DNA extraction, Real time and conventional PCR for the detection of pathogenic Leptospira specie in the collected samples.
  • DNA Sequencing of the 9 samples that tested positive in Real time PCR and phylogenetic analysis to be finalized by mid-June 2024.
A photo showing Monica Francis performing nucleic acid extraction on samples in the Extraction room of the Genomics department (Genotyping and Sequencing section) at NPHL - Tanzania
Work location; The National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) – Tanzania. NPHL headquarters are located in Mabibo, Dar-es-salaam region in Tanzania

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