Environmental contamination in a high-income country (France) by antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes: Status and possible causes
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global public health concern, shared by a large number of human and animal health actors. Within the framework of a One Health approach, actions should be implemented in the environmental realm, as well as the human and animal realms. The Government of France commissioned a report to provide policy and decision makers with an evidential basis for recommending or taking future actions to mitigate AMR in the environment. We first examined the mechanisms that underlie the emergence and persistence of antimicrobial resistance in the environment. This report drew up an inventory of the contamination of aquatic and terrestrial environments by AMR and antibiotics, anticipating that the findings will be representative of some other high-income countries. Effluents of wastewater treatment plants were identified as the major source of contamination on French territory, with spreading of organic waste products as a more diffuse and incidental contamination of aquatic environments.
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