A Novel Experimental Assay to Facilitate Risk Assessment of Selection for Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment

  22 October 2020

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most significant health threats to society. A growing body of research demonstrates selection for AMR likely occurs at environmental concentrations of antibiotics. However, no standardized experimental approaches for determining selective concentrations of antimicrobials currently exist, preventing appropriate environmental and human health risk assessment of AMR.

The lack of evidence demonstrating environmental selection for AMR, and of associated human health risks, is a primary reason for the lack of action in the mitigation of release of antibiotics into the aquatic environment. We present a novel method that can reliably and rapidly fill this data gap to enable regulation and subsequent mitigation (where required) to lower the risk of selection for, and human exposure to, AMR in aquatic environments. In particular, ciprofloxacin and, to a lesser extent, azithromycin, cefotaxime, and trimethoprim all pose a significant risk for selection of AMR in the environment.

Author(s): Aimee K. Murray, Isobel C. Stanton, Jessica Wright, Lihong Zhang, Jason Snape, and William H. Gaze
Clean Environment  
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