About This Project
In Sikkim, an Eastern Himalayan state, there is tremendous scarcity of potable drinking water, and people are solely dependent on spring water. From our preliminary study, it was found that most of the water sources are contaminated with antibiotic resistance pathogens including MDR strains. So, in this project we want to study the distribution of "Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARGs)" in different potable water sources of Sikkim.
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What is the context of this research?
Antibiotics are a magical wand of the 21st century used to cure several chronic ailments, but at the same time, they also become a major issue concerning the human health due to evolving antibiotic resistant strains. Increasing population size and misuse of antibiotic drugs due to wrong prescription or lack of awareness has created several multi-drug resistant strains. Selection of bacteria containing antibiotic resistance genes in an anthropogenically influenced environment can enlighten the mechanisms of ARG's flow from the human gut microbiome to different interacting environments or vice versa.
What is the significance of this project?
In a constant race between modern antibiotics and ever evolving antibiotic resistant bacteria, understanding the transmission of ARGs between different environmental niches and humans is essential for the preservation of antibiotic efficacy. The Himalayan range is a source of countless perennial rivers, paradoxically the mountain people depend largely on spring water for their sustenance (87% of the people are dependent on spring water). On average 80% of these springs serve as reservoirs for transfer of water borne pathogens.
In this investigation we will focus on the diversity of ARGs and their extent of movement from human to spring water and vice versa and will investigate the effect of ARGs on community.
What are the goals of the project?
Water samples will be collected from spring water, trench water, community reservoir, surface water, and household water. Community reservoirs are the tanks that collect and supply spring water to different communities.
Surface is collected from glaciers by the Government of Sikkim and supplied to urban areas of Sikkim.
Along with different water sources, we will also collect fecal matter from communities.
Metagenomic DNA isolated from the above samples will be sequenced and analyzed to determine the diversity of ARG in spring water and community stool samples and to determine the transfer of ARGs in cross niche and subsequent health impact.
Next Generation Sequencing will support the sequencing of the DNA isolated from the water sample and fecal samples for the antibiotic resistance gene profile.
Consumables will provide the necessary plastic-wares and glassware required for the sample collections.
With the budget of physico-chemical analysis we will procure a portable multi meter to measure pH, temperature, TDS, Turbidity, EC at the sampling site, and we will do ICP-MS analysis for chemical parameters of the collected samples.
Sample Collection and Preliminary Analysis - 2 months
Isolation of Metagenomic DNA and NGS - 3 months
Data Analysis - 2 months
Jun 11, 2017
Jul 07, 2017
Travel to South Sikkim for Sampling
Jul 20, 2017
Travel to West Sikkim for Sampling
Aug 10, 2017
Travel to East and North Sikkim for Sampling
Sep 01, 2017
Metagenomic DNA isolation
Meet the Team
Ashish Kumar Singh
I began my research work on antibiotic resistance profiling of waterborne pathogens mainly found in the spring water of Sikkim. During my sampling, I found communities in rural areas that drink raw spring water from several water borne ailments mainly gastrointestinal illness. In investigation, we also found that these people are not much aware about the proper usage of antibiotics and they are negligent in following the proper prescription. About 87% of the population of Sikkim are using spring water for their potable and daily domestic purpose. These spring water sources are hardly even protected from any biotic interference. Therefore, these sources can perform as a reservoir of diverse ARG's which may have human health impacts. Metagenomic analysis has offered an unprecedented opportunity to examine the different ecosystem interaction and it could be a tool to examine the diverse ARGs present in the environment which will help in preservation of antibiotic efficacy in future.
Beside my scientific dream in infectious disease study, I do stand-up comedy, I like playing cricket and I am traveler by passion. In the future, I want to study further about the pathogenic interaction and will discovering a new antibiotic is one of my dream.
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