Rapid metagenomic characterization of surface microbiota in Emergency Medical Services Vehicles

Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) occur in approximately 7% of hospitalized patients in developed countries producing unnecessary burden to healthcare systems. The frequency of HAI caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens that spread via surfaces, for example methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is also rising. To address this growing concern, dsBioscience Inc. is partnering with the University of Lethbridge to examine pathogen prevalence on surfaces in the healthcare sector. Our specific focus will be examining the prevalence of microorganisms in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) vehicles, as there is limited data available regarding the role of EMS vehicles in spreading HAI. This research will allow first responders to examine the efficacy of cleaning practices and improve the safety of patients and workers alike. The partner organization, dsBioscience Inc., has a long-term goal expanding their business through developing and supplying standardized sampling kits to customers that enable detailed analysis of the microbes present on a surface.

Faculty Supervisor:

Hans-Joachim Wieden


Dustin Smith


dsBioscience Inc


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Lethbridge


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