Ecuador

Location:
Quito, Ecuador
Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador

Site Institution:
Instituto de Microbiología, Universidad San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador

U.S. Institution
UC Berkeley

U.S. Mentor
Justin Remais, PhD, MS
Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health
E-mail: jvr@berkeley.edu

 

 

 

Site Mentor
Gabriel Trueba, DVM, MS, PhD
Professor, Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, COCIBA
E-mail: gtrueba@usfq.edu.ec

 

 

 

Research Focus:
diarrheal disease, antibiotic resistance, social environment

Site Description:
The partnership between UC Berkeley and Universidad San Francisco de Quito dates more than ten years, collaborating to understand how changes in the social and natural environment, mediated by road construction, affect the epidemiology of pathogens causing diarrheal diseases, and the spread of antibiotic resistance. With our partners at UC Berkeley (NSF award PI: Prof Justin Remais), Michigan (NSF award co-I: Prof Joe Eisenberg), Trinity College (NSF award co-I: James Trostle), and elsewhere, we are examining how sensitive diarrheal disease pathogens are to changes in human environments, including changes to climate, socioeconomic conditions, and social contacts between individuals. Our study area is located in the Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas, specifically in the Canton Eloy Alfaro, which comprises 12 parroquias and approximately 120 villages. We are working in 24 of these villages, which are located along three rivers, the Río Cayapas, Río Santiago, and Río Onzole. At Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Dr. Gabriel Trueba leads a large microbiology laboratory, and where he is a faculty member in the Institute of Microbiology at USFQ. Dr. Gabriel Trueba also holds a veterinary degree. Potential research areas for Fogarty Global Health fellowships at this research site include examining how environmental factors interact with the veterinary and medical use of antibiotics to generate resistance to antibiotics in a community context; how might the construction of a new road in northern coastal Ecuador provide links between previously remote villages to local, regional, national, and international networks of goods, services, and people, creating new commercial and social connections between them, with consequences for infectious disease transmission.