The MVNA 2018 Call for Short-Term Missions (STM) (max 3k Euros each) and Workshops (WS) (max 10k Euros) has now closed. 

All successful applicants have now been informed.


The first short-term mission to be completed of those funded during the 2018-2019 Call has been received from Jonathan Betts whose summary report appears below:


Novel compounds for the treatment of Streptococcus pneumoniae: an unexplored species in zoonotic disease

Jonathan Betts of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford UK, visited Dr Apostolos Liakoupoulos and Dr Daniel Rozen at the Institute of Biology, Leiden, Leiden University, the Netherlands from 20th to 28th October 2018.

 OBJECTIVE: the key aim of this mission was to determine the antibacterial activity of the manganese complex [Mn(CO)3(tpa-k3N)]Br against multidrug-resistant isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Introductory training on whole genome sequencing (WGS) and library preps for future analysis of S. pneumoniae.

 REPORT: The rise of antibiotic resistance (AMR) in humans has been a significant topic of interest over the past decade. However, many also consider animals as a reservoir of resistance mechanisms, due to previous overuse of antibiotics. The zoonotic potential of many bacterial pathogens enables their transfer to humans, carrying any resistance genes with them. This can lead to limited therapeutic options for clinicians in veterinary and human medicine. S. pneumoniae is a problematic human pathogen, which is often resistant to multiple classes of antibiotic. However, it has been isolated in several animal species, both wild and domestic. A group of novel antibacterial agents with potential against S. pneumoniae, are Mn carbonyl complexes. During the visit to the University of Leiden, the efficacy of one of these complexes, [Mn(CO)3(tpa-K3N)]Br, was evaluated against multidrug-resistant (MDR), clinically important strains of S. pneumoniae. [Mn(CO)3(tpa-K3N)]Br was found to be 8- to 16-fold more active against these strains, than previously observed against MDR avian pathogenic Escherichia coli. This activity was also confirmed in vivo, using the Galleria mellonella model of infection. Data from these experiments have been submitted for presentation at the European Congress for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), Amsterdam, 2019.

Training received on whole genome sequencing (WGS), confirmed S. pneumonia as a reservoir of resistance genes and will allow the future analysis and comparison of the molecular characteristics of S. pneumoniae strains, isolated from humans and animals. Work is underway, to determine if S. pneumoniae in animals are not only a reservoir of resistance genes but also potential zoonotic pathogens.


Jonathan Betts (left) and Apostolos Liakoupoulos

Nine of the ten STM awarded in 2017 have already been completed and the reports are available to read here.