Funding council flags ImaginationLancaster’s wellbeing research work

ImaginationLancaster’s research on antimicrobial resistance in Ghana has been highlighted as a flagship project in a key funding council’s new portfolio.

The Dust Bunny project, led by Professor Emmanuel Tsekleves, is featured on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cities and Urban Environments portfolio, showcasing some of its flagship projects.

The project, featured in the community health and wellbeing section of the portfolio, aims to develop a greater understanding of how household dust could be a source of bacterial infection by exploring hygiene practices across homes in Ghana.

“Design research is spearheading several of these projects and Imagination Lancaster‘s AHRC-funded Dust Bunny project is featured as an exemplar of research on community health and wellbeing in cities,” says Professor Tsekleves.

He says antimicrobial resistance is a global health crisis and understanding the source of bacterial infections in built environments is crucial.

By combining design research with microbiology, Dust Bunny explores the impact of cleaning practices in Ghanaian homes.

“Bacteria are building up resistance to drugs – changing to protect themselves against antibiotics,” explains Professor Tsekleves. “This means that in the not-too-distant future something as simple as a minor cut could become life-threatening. It’s a global problem but one that is even more critical in some developing countries, which already face larger numbers of death from infectious diseases.”

Most work surfaces in homes are covered with bacteria but, unlike furniture and work surfaces, the bacteria on dust can move around different parts of a building. Workshops with members of local communities in Ghana provided an insight into cleaning routines and beliefs surrounding cleanliness, enabling researchers to better understand interactions with airborne bacteria.

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