Dr. Chika E.P. Ejikeugwu


Dr. Chika Ejikeugwu
Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellow

Working group Environmental Antimicrobial Resistance

Dept. of Applied Microbial Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany

+49 15213367505


Dr. Chika Ejikeugwu

Career path

Since 2023
Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellow at the Department of Applied Microbial Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig (Germany).
2021 till date Senior Lecturer & Researcher on AMR at the Enugu State University of Science & Technology, ESUT (Nigeria).
2021 Postdoc at Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, BAM (Berlin, Germany).
2018 Postdoc at the Laboratory of Infectious Disease Model, Institute for Life & Medical Sciences (LiMe), Kyoto Univeristy, Kyoto (Japan).


2013 - 2017 PhD in Pharmaceutical Microbiology & Biotechnology
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
Thesis: Characterization of metallo beta lactamase and AmpC genes from environmental isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PhD 2017, cum laude).
2010 - 2012 Master of Science (M.Sc) in Pharmaceutical Microbiology & Biotechnology.                 
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
Thesis: Detection and antimicrobial resistance studies on some Gram negative bacteria producing extended spectrum beta lactamases from a tertiary hospital in Enugu State.
2005 - 2008 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Applied Microbiology.
Ebonyi State University, Nigeria
Project: Prevalence of extended spectrum beta lactamase - producing Escherichia coli from two tertiary hospitals in Enugu State, Nigeria

Research interests

My research interest center around antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and infectious diseases. My long-term research goals involve the development of a broad knowledge and skills base for the comprehensive understanding of key microbiological, epidemiological and genetic mechanisms driving the evolution and transmission of AMR, particularly in the context of the environment and hospital interphase.

I am also interested to understand how antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and AMR is helping to shape clinical impact of antibiotics as well as the prognosis of patients - with the overarching goal being the reduction of the incidence and disease burden of AMR, as well as ensure the optimization of antibiotic use in human and animal health in Nigeria and Africa.

I am a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Stiftung. My work (soilRESIST) is focused on investigating the threats of antibiotic mixtures on soil microbiomes and their functions in agricultural soils. In this project (soilRESIST), I aim to understand the effect of antibiotic mixtures on soil bacteria and how it can promote the abundance, reservoir and spread of AMR genes and strains from manure to soil microbiomes, as well as how this can affect other soil functions such as the biodegradation of anthropogenic contaminants in agricultural soils.

  • Okafor COO, Iroha IR, Ude IU, Onuoha SC, Ejikeugwu C, Ovia KN, Eromonsele BO, Agah VM, Okoronkwo C, Gabriel-Ibeh I, Okoroafor I, Nwachukwu OB (2022). Drug resistance profile of biofilm forming Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from aquatic environment in South Eastern Nigeria. Environmental Challenges, 8:100530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envc.2022.100530
  • Ejikeugwu C, Nworie O, Saki M, Al-Dahmoshi HOM, Al-Khafaji NSK, Ezeador C, Nwakaeze E, Eze P, Oni E, Obi C, Iroha I, Esimone C, Adikwu MU (2021). Detection of metallo-β-lactamase and AmpC genes in Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from abattoir and poultry origin in Nigeria. BMC Microbiology, 21(124):1-9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12866-021-02179-1
  • Ejikeugwu C, Hasson SO, Al-Mosawi RM, Alkhudhairy MK, Saki M, Ezeador C, Eze P, Ugwu M, Duru C, Ujam NT, Edeh C, Udu-Ibiam O, Iroha I, Adikwu M (2020). Occurrence of FOX-1 AmpC Gene among Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates in abattoir samples from south-eastern Nigeria. Reviews in Medical Microbiology, 31(2):99-103. https://doi.org/10.1097/MRM.0000000000000201
  • Ejikeugwu C, Saki M, Nwakaeze E, Eze P, Chinedu O, Carissa D, Edeh C, Esimone C, Iroha I, Adikwu M (2019). Characterization of blaIMP-1 MBL genes among Klebsiella species from abattoir samples by multiplex PCR. Gene Reports, 16:100428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.genrep.2019.100428
  • Oli AN, Ogbuagu VI, Ejikeugwu CP, Iroha IR, Ugwu MC, Ofomata CM, Okeke KN, Emechebe GO, Okoro JC, Okani CO, Onah SK (2019). Multi-Antibiotic Resistance and Factors Affecting Carriage of Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Pediatric Population of Enugu Metropolis, Nigeria. Medical Sciences, 7:104. https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci7110104
  • Ejikeugwu C, Esimone C, Iroha I, Adikwu M (2018). First Detection of FOX-1 AmpC β-lactamase gene expression among Escherichia coli isolated from abattoir samples in Abakaliki, Nigeria. Oman Medical Journal, 33(3):134-140. https://doi.org/10.5001/omj.2018.44
  • Ejikeugwu C, Esimone C, Iroha I, Eze P, Ugwu M, Adikwu M (2018). Genotypic and Phenotypic characterization of MBL genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from the non-hospital environment. Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology (JPAM), 12(4):1877-1885. http://dx.doi.org/10.22207/JPAM.12.4.23
  • Ejikeugwu C, Esimone C, Iroha I, Igwe DO, Ugwu M, Ezeador C, Duru C, Adikwu M (2017). Molecular Identification of MBL Genes blaIMP-1 and blaVIM-1 in Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Abattoir by Multiplex PCR Technique. Research Journal of Microbiology, 12: 266-273. https://doi.org/10.3923/jm.2017.266.273
  • Ejikeugwu C, Duru C, Iroha I, Ugwu M, Nwakaeze E, Oguejiofor B, Esimone C, Adikwu M (2016). Phenotypic Screening of Clinical Isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa for Metallo-Beta-Lactamase. Life Science Journal, 13(10):77-82. https://doi.org/10.7537/marslsj131016.11
  • Ejikeugwu C, Umeokoli B, Iroha I, Ugwu M, Esimone C (2015). Phytochemical and Antibacterial Screening of Crude Extracts from Leaves of Wonderful Kola. American Journal of Life Sciences. 3(2):5-8. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ajls.s.2014020603.12
  • Ikegbunam MN, Anagu LO, Iroha IR, Ejikeugwu C, Esimone CO (2014). Abattoirs as Non-Hospital Source of Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase Producers: Confirmed by the Double Disc Synergy Test and Characterized by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry. PLoS ONE, 9(4):e94461. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094461
  • Ejikeugwu C, Iroha I, Adikwu M, Esimone C (2013). Susceptibility and Detection of Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase Enzymes from Otitis Media Pathogens. American Journal of Infectious Diseases, 9(1):24-29. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajidsp.2013.24.29

Enugu State University of Science & technology (ESUT), Nigeria

(Taught courses in: pharmaceutical microbiology, bacteriology and virology)

  • I am a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA) in Halle, Germany. GYA is a global community that gives a voice to young scientists globally, and helps shape the future of education, science and policy by interfacing with policy makers at the national and global level for sustainable development. As a GYA member, I engage in outreach activities targeted at public health education and science education amongst young people.
  • Also, I founded www.MicrobiologyClass.net, an online microbiology website that educates the global microbiology community with scintillating topics in the field of microbiology. Occasionally, I try to make time for mentoring high school students and undergraduates (as a GYA member) about science, as well as coach them on several aspects of their career and personal development in the real world.
  • 2023 Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellowship, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany.
  • 2023 Rising Star Postdoctoral Fellowship, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany [Unutilized].
  • 2022 The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Young Affiliateship Award [2022-2027].
  • 2021 Young Investigator Award on Antimicrobial Resistance, Institute Mérieux, France.
  • 2021 DAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, BAM Institute, Berlin, Germany.
  • 2021 AAS Affiliate Membership Award from the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).
  • 2021 Speakers Fund Scholarship from Institut de Recherche pour le Développement.
  • 2020 DAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Germany [Unutilized due to COVID-19].
  • 2020 National Researchers Prize in Microbiology in Nigeria.
  • 2020 Elected Member of the Global Young Academy (GYA), Germany [2020-2025].
  • 2020 Elected Fellow of Africa Science Leadership Programme [ASLP], South Africa.
  • 2019 Travel Grant from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
  • 2019 Travel Grant from Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), to FEMS2019 Conference in Scotland, UK.
  • 2019 Travel Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to Keystone Symposia in British Columbia, Canada.
  • 2018 Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
  • 2018 TETFund Institutional Based Research (IBR) Grant for Early Careers, Nigeria.
  • 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Award of Excellence, Nigeria.
  • April 2018-October 2018, hosted by Prof. Hirofumi AKARI (Ph.D., D.V.M.). Center for the Evolutionary Origins of Human Behavior, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. This stay was funded by the Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) through a Research grant for postdoctoral fellowship.

  • June 2021-September 2021, hosted by Prof. Dr. Frank Schreiber. Bundesanstalt für Biologische Materialschädigung und Referenzorganismen, Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Berlin, Germany. This stay was funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) through a Research grant for university academics and scientists.