The research work on the development and usage of structural alignment of mobile DNA elements, shortly sTRAST, to predict the transfer of antibiotic resistant genes to the potential bacterial hosts lead by the PI dr. Aleš Lapanje has been awarded at the biggest European microbiology conference FEMS2017.
The work presented by young scientist dr. Jan Zrimec from University of Primorska, also the award holder, has been awarded under the category of Early Stage Scientist. The developed algorithm named as sTRAST (http://dnatools.eu), meaning passion in Slovene, enables search within the noncoding DNA regions of parts of DNA that can be transferred among bacterial species. sTRAST also enables to determine mobile groups (MOB) to which the DNA element is belonging to. By determining these MOBs the range of hosts can be predicted. Since the antibiotic resistant genes are coded on MOBs, the sTRAST provides important advancement in selecting the most optimal antibiotic type. Spread of antibiotic resistant genes among different populations of bacteria present at the site of the infection can be lowered by using the antibiotics against which bacteria might be resistant, but do not have the appropriate hosts to deliver the resistance.