A smart surveillance strategy for carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that causes severe infections in hospitalized patients. The worldwide emergence of carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (CR-PA) makes infections by these pathogens almost untreatable. The World Health Organization now ranks CR-PA highest in the list of urgent threats. Information for action to prevent further emergence has to come from insight into sources and transmission routes through smart surveillance.

The aim of this project is to develop a globally applicable smart surveillance strategy to guide action against the spread of CR-PA. Since P. aeruginosa prefers moist niches, the focus will be on the human-water interface. First, highly sensitive methods to detect CR-PA in specific environmental and human niches will be developed. Subsequently, CR-PA will be collected in three study sites with increasing prevalence of CR-PA, increasingly warmer climates, and different water situations (Rotterdam in The Netherlands; Rome, Italy; and Jakarta, Indonesia). The study will search for CR-PA in a variety of niches outside and inside the hospital and in healthy humans and hospitalized patients. Whole genome sequencing will compare the CR-PA from different sources and identify transmission routes. The project will provide insight into how the different potential reservoirs of CR-PA contribute to its spread in different settings. This knowledge will be used to develop a globally-applicable surveillance strategy for CR-PA to guide preventive actions.

This is one of five IDRC-funded projects developed through the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), an international platform that coordinates global funding to support collaborative research and action on antimicrobial resistance. Through the JPIAMR, IDRC has partnered with 18 other donor agencies to fund innovative research on diagnostics and surveillance strategies, tools, and technologies that can be used to detect and monitor antimicrobial resistance in human, animal, and environmental settings, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Project ID


Project status



36 months

IDRC Officer

Renée Larocque

Total funding

CA$ 173,800


South Asia


Food, Environment, and Health