LAB-Net Fights Resistant Bacteria in NICUs

October 12, 2021

LAB-Net/The Laboratory of Medical Microbiology (LMM) of the University of Antwerp will play a key role in NeoIPC, a new Horizon 2020-funded project coordinated by Fondazione Penta and St George’s Hospital Medical School. NeoIPC aims to reduce the transmission of resistant bacteria in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The project builds on and further extends the collaboration between 13 experienced partners with a proven track record in the areas of neonatal intensive care, neonatal infection, IPC, implementation science, microbiology, and surveillance.

LAB-Net/LMM is the central laboratory partner involved in optimizing sample collection protocols, training, and supplying sampling kits to participating sites. Samples (skin, stool, environmental) will be biobanked at the LMM and will be utilized to understand acquisition and transmission of AMR in NICUs, and to identify environmental niches that might serve as AMR reservoirs.  The analysis will include shotgun metagenomic sequencing, specific mapping to AMR genes and allelic variants, and assessment of the impact of normalization strategies on AMR allelic variant abundances. Finally the impact of decolonization strategies in decreasing AMR colonization and transmission in neonates will be studied.

The three overarching aims of NeoIPC are:

  1. Develop and implement an innovative approach towards the evaluation of infection prevention and control interventions
  2. Assess the effectiveness of interventions in a randomised controlled trial, while also ensuring identification of a suitable implementation strategy
  3. Generate widely relevant and globally transferrable outputs to improve infection prevention and control in neonatal care

We kindly invite you to complete the survey to register your interest in participating in various NeoIPC network activities here.