“Determination of infection potential and genetic structure of microbes from healthcare and municipal wastes in Kathmandu”

Project Summary:
Due to poor conduct and inappropriate handling and disposal methods, healthcare waste is a major challenge, particularly in developing countries like Nepal. These wastes are regarded as highly infectious or hazardous in nature due to the presence of infectious microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Though the harms associated with these wastes have gained public concern and are discussed in different events, forums and summits, we do not have available data on types and potential infections. We still lack the characterization of microbes and the required steps to reduce occupational incidents and environmental contamination. It is also not known whether there is cross-contamination of the pathogenic microbes across hospital areas and surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, we aim to study microbial load and their infection potential, variation in microbial strains and pathogenicity, nature of antibiotics resistance, and genetic determinants of microbes isolated from healthcare and municipal wastes in Kathmandu valley. As a long-term goal, the information will be exploited for the mechanistic study of multi-drug resistance which is the major concern with any infectious diseases. Therefore, this intended study will not only provide excellent public health concerned scientific data, but also alert the general public on waste management and will support the stakeholders to make effective policies in waste management which in turn will help in reducing disease burden substantially.

Funding body: The World Academy of Sciences
Funding year: 2016
Principal Investigator: Deena Shrestha, PhD., Center for Health and Disease Studies Nepal (CHDS-Nepal)
Co-Principal Investigators: Bivek Timalsina, MSc., Center for Health and Disease Studies Nepal (CHDS-Nepal)
Thesis Student: Satya Raj Poudel
Advisors: Roshan Lal Shrestha, Ph.D. and Bijay Bajracharya, PhD., Center for Health and Disease Studies Nepal (CHDS-Nepal)
Status: Complete
Publication: Manuscript under preparation