Examining the Potential of the Microbiome in Children to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance: the EPIC Study

Nasia Safdar
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Nasia Safdar
Associate Professor
Ajay Sethi
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Ajay Sethi
MPH Faculty Program Director
Associate Professor
Garret Suen
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Garret Suen
Associate Professor
Ellen Wald
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Ellen Wald
Professor
This study, Examining the Potential of the Microbiome in Children to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance (EPIC) will examine the impact of daycare on a child’s microbiome and risk of infection with drug-resistant pathogens. Children in daycare are at an important age when their developing microbiome is strongly influenced by the environment and the people around them. Daycares provide an environment where children and their caretakers spend long periods of time together and toys, food, hygiene habits and surfaces are shared. This places children at higher risk to carry pathogenic organisms and acts as a reservoir for transmission of and infection with those organisms not only among the children, but also the adults that interact with them.

Developing a microbiome that inhibits the growth of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs) early in life is essential to preventing transmission of and infection with MDROs in this high-risk setting. However, the lack of research in this area leaves many remaining questions and a gap in the field regarding the microbiome characteristics that are associated with MDRO carriage, at multiple body sites such as the nose, gastrointestinal tract and the skin.

This study will be the first of its kind to assess the relationship between the nasal, skin, and gut microbiomes and MDRO colonization in children attending daycare. The study will build on Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) and use 40 cases (children in daycare) and 40 controls from SHOW. It will collect data on nasal, skin, and gut microbiomes.