Understand the mechanisms of infectious disease transmission via clinical sinks
Drug-resistant bacteria are known to spread from the wastewater systems of hospitals into vulnerable patients. It is not known how this happens, but sinks are accepted to be a source. We work to understand the mechanisms by which infectious diseases are transmitted via sinks, and how this transmission differs between sink designs and between bacterial species. We also work to understand how drug-resistance is passed from one bacterial species to another within the wastewater system.
Prevent the transmission of disease via clinical sinks
As we establish the mechanisms of disease spread, we are also using this knowledge to inform interventions. We are developing several new technologies to prevent the spread of drug-resistant pathogens from sinks to patients.
Standards are needed for measuring the bacterial populations of sinks, measuring the risk of disease spread from new sink and faucet designs, and for assessing the efficacy of preventative measures. We are developing these standards.