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Vasco, Karla

Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
190 Food Safety & Toxicology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 884-2076




Karla Vasco is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics department where she pursues her interest in molecular epidemiology and microbial ecology. As a member of the Manning and Zhang labs, she studies the impacts of antimicrobials and pathogens within cattle-gut microbiome and resistome. In her research at MSU, Karla is applying classical microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and data sciences to understand how enteric pathogens and antimicrobials alter the microbiome in cattle. Karla has collaborated in several studies to understand the complex transmission pathways of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in humans, animals, and the environment in rural Ecuadorian communities. She studied veterinarian medicine at the Central University of Ecuador, an M.Sc. in microbiology at the University San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, and an M.Sc. in tropical parasitic diseases at the University of Valencia, Spain. Through the application of integrative disciplines such as veterinary medicine, mathematical modeling, microbiology, molecular genetics, and bioinformatics she envisions to develop One Health programs for disease control and prevention. She plans to use data science to understand the complex epidemiology of infectious diseases and the evolution of emergent pathogens. 


  • Salinas, L., Cárdenas, P., Johnson, T. J., Vasco, K., Graham, J., & Trueba, G. (2019). Diverse Commensal Escherichia coli Clones and Plasmids Disseminate Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Domestic Animals and Children in a Semirural Community in Ecuador. mSphere, 4(3), e00316-19.  

  • Hedman, H. D., Eisenberg, J. N., Vasco, K. A., Blair, C. N., Trueba, G., Berrocal, V. J., & Zhang, L. (2018). High Prevalence of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase CTX-M–Producing Escherichia coli in Small-Scale Poultry Farming in Rural Ecuador. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, tpmd180173.  

  • Vasco-Aguas, K., Ferrando-Hernández, C., Barrio-Miguel, E., Álvarez-Izquierdo, M., Gálvez, J., & García-Domenech, R. (2017). Predicting anti-Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense activity of a group of Dicationic 3,5-diphenylisoxazols by Molecular Topology. Anales de la Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia (Vol. 83, No. 2). 

  • Vasco, K., Graham, J. P., & Trueba, G. (2016). Detection of zoonotic enteropathogens in children and domestic animals in a semi-rural community in Ecuador. Applied and environmental microbiology, AEM-00795. 

  • Graham, J., Vasco, K., & Trueba, G. (2016). Hyperendemic Campylobacter jejuni in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) raised for food in a semirural community of Quito, Ecuador. Environmental Microbiology Reports. 

  • Braykov, N., Eisenberg J., Grossman, M., Zhang L., Vasco, K., Cevallos, W., Muñoz, D., Acevedo, A., Moser, K., Marrs, C., Foxman, B., Trostle, J., Trueba, G. & Levy K. (2016). Antibiotic Resistance in Animal and Environmental Samples Associated with Small Scale Poultry Farming in Northwestern Ecuador. mSphere, 1(1), e00021-15. 

  • Lewbart, G. A., Hirschfeld, M., Denkinger, J., Vasco, K., Guevara, N., García, J., Muñoz J. & Lohmann, K. J. (2014). Blood Gases, Biochemistry, and Hematology of Galapagos Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas). PloS one, 9(5), e96487. 


  • Hedman H, Vasco-Aguas K, Qiu T, Trueba G, Eisenberg J, Zhang L. “Chickling dumping”: risk of promoting rural communities with antimicrobial resistance genes and resistant pathogens.  The 5th International Symposium on the Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance.  9–14 June 2019, Hong Kong. 

  • Vasco-Aguas K, Valero M., Barges M. Poster “Genotypic and phenotypic diversity of warm and tropical populations of tiger mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894)”. X National Congress of Tropical Medicine and International Health. October 25th 2017. Bilbao, Spain. 

  • Vasco K., Barrio-Miguel E. “Eco-epidemiology and geographic distribution of Leishmaniasis and its vectors in Ecuador”. VII Congress of University of Valencia Pharmacy Students (V International). March 29-31, 2017. Valencia, Spain. 

  • Hedman H., Zhang L., Vasco K., Trueba G., Blair C., Autumn D., Vinueza D., Villacis J., Zurita R., Gavilanes G., Meda S., Eisenberg J. “Field observational study Evaluating the Spillover of Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria between Different Varieties of Chickens and Humans in Rural Northern Ecuador”. 4th International Symposium on the Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance. 13–17 August 2017. Lansing, Michigan, USA. 

  • Hedman, H., Zhang, L., Vasco, K., Trueba, G., Foufopoulos, J. & Eisenberg, J. “Evaluating the spillover of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among chicken farming communities in Ecuador”. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 65th Annual Meeting. November 13-17, 2016. Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 

  • Vasco, K., Graham, J. P., & Trueba, G. “Zoonotic enteropathogens in children and animals in a semi-rural community in Ecuador”.  1st International Congress Ecology and Evolution of Global Communicable Diseases. 14-16 March 2016. Quito, Ecuador. 

  • Vasco, K. (oral) "Prophylaxis/Therapeutics and Interactions of Antibiotics: Emergence of Resistant Strains". XXIV Latin American Aviculture Congress. National Poultry Corporation of Ecuador and AMEVEA. Participation. 40 academic hours. 8-11 September 2015. Guayaquil, Ecuador. 

  • Vasco, K., Graham, J. P., & Trueba, G. “Multilocus sequence typing of Campylobacter jejuni from humans and animals in a rural community of Ecuador”. XVII Pan American Congress of Infectology. Central University of Ecuador, Ministry of Public Health and Pan American Association of Infectious Diseases. May, 2015. Quito, Ecuador. 

  • Grossman, M., Vasco, K., Zhang, L., Cevallos, W., Trueba, G., Eisenberg, J. N., & Levy, K. “Environmental and Domestic Transmission of Antibiotic Resistance in Community Chicken Farms in Rural Ecuador”. 97th ESA Annual Convention 2012; 08/2012.